I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.

– L M Montgomery

Today I walked past a sign at a local Farmers Market that proclaimed Wolf Pumpkins with Long Stems. I had never heard of wolf pumpkins. I stared at them in awe. They were huge and brilliantly orange with rows of deep fat creases down their sides and the longest, most curvaceous bronze stems I’d ever seen – truly a miniature version of Cinderella’s carriage. I immediately wanted to take two home and plop them on either side of my rusty old iron gate.

Wolf Pumpkins with Long Stems
Wolf Pumpkins with Long Stems

But first I had to see what other treasures awaited me at the market. I rounded the next corner and glimpsed something out of the corner of my eye. I turned to see clusters of burnt gold, shimmering burgundy and crisp lime green mums with their faces just beginning to open. I resisted the urge to scoop up pots of them in my arms, burying my face in their petals to breathe in their opulent colors and freshness. Then I paused – Oh my God. It’s October! Fall always comes too fast when I’m not ready to let go of summer, I mourned to myself.

My Favorite Time

Linda at the Farm Stand

Then I stopped and took a deep breath – but what a delicious time of year – my favorite, in fact.  A time when nature presents us with so many choices of beauty and bounty beyond description – gifts of radiant sparkling colors, rich textures, and uncommon shapes to embellish our gates, front doors, mantles, hearths, bowls, platters, tables and fireplaces.

As I made my way through the market under a brilliant blue sky, I saw a spectacular array of multi-colored yellow, apricot, green and gold gourds beside bumpy blue and orange pumpkins in all shapes and sizes piled on tables, stacks of oak and almond wood for fireplaces, wild branches of gold and red bittersweet, and strands of orange and yellow marigolds to remember loved ones. There were bags of fresh unshelled walnuts from Watsonville, bright green apples from Sonoma, green, red and purple grapes from Napa and soft brown and pale blue eggs from pasture-raised hens in West Marin. It doesn’t get much better than this, I thought – what a wonderful world!

Orange and Gold Marigolds to Honor Our Loved Ones
Orange and Gold Marigolds to Honor Our Loved Ones

Don’t Be Seduced

Still beaming from my walk through the market pulling a cart filled with treasures to my car, I stopped at the grocery store on my way home. As I slipped through the automatic doors, I was greeted by a huge display under fluorescent lights of fake wreaths made of waxy coated paper leaves, a shiny array of plastic bucket pumpkins, slick black hairy spiders with glittery legs, candles wrapped in synthetic fall flowers that smelled like chemicals, tacky orange cocktail napkins stamped with wide-eyed black cats, claws out and hair standing on end, and cheap black guest towels with white ghosts spouting “Boo” from their mouths. Bags of sugary candy corn and bright orange marshmallow pumpkins were piled high around the display. Forgetting what I came for, I turned around and left the store.

Design Rebel’s Honor Nature and Art

Consider your role as a design rebel this fall. Decorate your home exclusively with gifts from the nature of the season. Peruse farmers markets or farm stands for flowers, pumpkins, gourds and crisp fall leaves you can use to embellish your tables. Fill bowls with mounds of unshelled nuts, add color with piles of persimmons and pomegranates, hang wreaths made of boxwood, magnolia leaves, lemon leaves or rosehips. Say “No” to cheap mass-produced goods that quickly lose their luster and ultimately clog our landfills with plastics, chemicals and dyes.

Wild Bittersweet, Red Berries and Lime Green Pears of the Season
Wild Bittersweet, Red Berries and Lime Green Pears of the Season

Instead, honor the earth with decorations from nature and artful handmade objects that last year after year and can be passed down creating memories of wonderful October’s for future generations. Celebrate the season knee deep in nature’s beauty and bounty while you throw your arms around your treasured family and friends. Aren’t we lucky that October is finally here!

Showing 10 comments
  • Alison Dionne

    Thank you for the peaceful quality of your narative! Just what I needed as I sit here and sip my coffee! I live in Maine and have the blessing of peaceful, gorgeous places to visit, full of beauty! Blessings!

    • Marla

      Beautifully said! Thanks for this great reminder that the natural beauty is the best choice always!

  • Lynn

    Linda, I think that you are a color poet – it is rare to hear the richness of autumn described so beautifully. A pleasure to read and reflect on.

  • Francis Leon-Beegle

    Linda felt as though I was walking with you at the Farmer’s market with your well written narrative..we can live in a beautiful world and need to embrace it…thank you!

  • Laurie Larsen

    What a sumptuous walk through fall at its finest! Thank you, that was delightful and you are a beautiful writer – as well as an artist. Love the photo of you at the market.
    I am sending prayers for the safety and healing of all those areas you named above. May the fires that rage in so many places be contained and all life regenerated.

  • Joan

    Thank you Linda for reminding me of how much I love this season too. The colors and the smells make me happy

  • Yvette

    Hope you and yours are safe in California fires…God bless. Love your work.

  • Mary

    “Be a Truth Dweller not a trend follower” … love your motto! Be yourself and decorate to please your eyes, then you can’t go wrong … and never forget the power of color and nature. Thank you, Linda!

  • sandy spargur

    thank you for all the beauty in your words. Now I’m anxious to fill my home with fall.
    I pray for your safety at this time as the fires overtake the beauty around San Francisco, Napa, etc
    God Bless

  • marlena weinstein

    Also..my favorite time of year..
    Besides the light in the sky..and the colors that surround, it is a time to rejoice with the Jewish New Year to reflect on the Jewish Yom Kippur…a closure of my tax season deadline…the amazing Mill Valley Film Festival…and tons of birthdays..
    and the best
    Halloween..my all time favorite holiday..only time of year..where I don’t want to be myself..
    Thank you Linda for all your gifts..
    Marlena Weinstein

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Perdanal, Georgia O'Keeffe, 1945Napa Vineyard