Leaves Aren't the Scariest Thing About October

by Julia Phillips Smith

A few years ago, there was a Tim Horton's commercial in Canada that began with a woman discovering a red autumn leaf on the sidewalk, only to scream in terror at the specter of the oncoming winter.

I must confess that this commercial always irritated me in the worst way.

Fall is my absolute favorite season. Far more than spring, for me fall runs with the energy of beginnings. Fall is when we start classes, take new courses, join clubs or restart meetings of a beloved group after a summer break.

Not to mention the fireworks-like eruption of color in the trees that fills me with a joy so great, sometimes my heart feels like it's in danger of bursting. I spend as much time outside in the fall as I can, taking walks through the leaves, delighting in purple tufts of asters along the paths and the brilliant clusters of red berries nestled in the woods.

 Sure, winter is coming. In a country like mine, winter can claim lives if it's not treated with respect.

Yet, winter brings with it my adored Christmas and New Year's seasons. Fall acts as the herald to a full social calendar, filled with concerts, get-togethers with friends and celebrations with family.

For a writer like me, whose characters include Dark Ages vampires and dark fantasy heroes, the best days of fall aren't even the brilliant-blue-sky days. I far prefer the brooding gray afternoons when a sliver of golden sunset lines the horizon. They inspire me like the soft warmth of spring never will.

This fall, you can be assured I won't be running away from the jewel-toned leaves as they float toward my eager embrace. 

Photo by Helen Tansey

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  1. Well said, Julia. When I was young, I dreaded fall as the end of summer. But the more I write, the more I appreciate the atmosphere of the season.
    A line you wrote sums it up beautifully:
    "I far prefer the brooding gray afternoons when a sliver of golden sunset lines the horizon."
    Best Wishes,

  2. Thanks, Kellyann - those kinds of days are perfect for a gothic-style writer like me!

  3. Fall is hands down my favourite season too, Julia!

  4. It's always been that way for me ever since I was a kid, Donna. As I get older, that feeling just keeps getting stronger.

  5. Perfectly said. I always get excited about whatever season has just begun, but fall is special.


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