Strange & Lovely Words
5-Minute Writing Prompts
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One of my long-dead boyfriends, Vincent Van Gogh, said this about my favorite time of the year:
As long as autumn lasts, I shall not have hands, canvas and colors enough to paint the beautiful things I see.
Oh, Vincent – you nailed it. There’s so much happening in the Fall/Autumn that I have to write about it. Leaves transform into a brief riot of burnt red, orange, amber, yellow, and brown. Children are excited about their first day at school and parents everywhere breathe a sigh of relief. Farmers harvest crops at a breakneck pace. Pumpkins. Crisp apples. Cool nights with a fire and a cup of cocoa or apple cider. The light changes into a thin, clear veil if you watch it closely enough. Artists like Van Gogh, Vermeer, and many others, loved to paint the autumn light.
As for me? I get to wear jeans, sweaters, leather jackets, and cute boots again! And I head outside to write as much as I can before it gets too cold to hold my pen.
Don’t get me started on pumpkin spice. I even have the bubble bath. I kid you not.
Long before the days of pumpkin spice, I was a farmer’s daughter who grew up in a small village on the Canadian prairies. Fall has always been my favorite time of year despite the fact my parents had to work long hours into the night to get the crops in. It was a frantic few months and yet so beautiful too. Long golden swathes of wheat, my dad in the red combine, and my mom driving the old turquoise grain truck. Endless skies of blue. It was something Vincent Van Gogh or Pieter Brugel the Elder would have wanted to paint.
My sister and I learned how to cook at an early age and we’d make dinner for Mom to pick up. ( I could make a full chicken dinner complete with mashed potatoes, homemade stuffing, and gravy at the age of twelve.) Once we were old enough, we cooked and then drove the meals to the field at six p.m. on the dot. When farmers spend hours in a dusty, hot combine or grain truck? Meals become the highlight of the day. It was hard work but it was worth it when Dad said, “Good meal, girls” as he dashed back to the combine.
Even in the midst of a hectic harvest – there was beauty. The gorgeous clear skies with their thin light. The dancing Northern Lights if you stayed awake long enough. My lemon birthday cake with whipped cream Mom would somehow create between dumping loads of grain at the elevator. And I was one of the nerdy kids who couldn’t wait to get back to school.
Some of the farm kids hated fall. I was never one of them. And that was years before I knew about Vincent Van Gogh and pumpkin spice.
Do you delight in falling leaves or do you want to drop to the ground and have a tantrum that summer is over and winter is around the corner?
Write about autumn. What does it mean to you?
P.S. I’ll still like you even if you hate pumpkin spice.
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