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.
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
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!
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.
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!