The essence of autumn: My Q+A list to get us in the mood

This is what I’ve been waiting for. This month. This season. This post! It’s time for a question + answer list, y’all. And that’s always a fun way to really dig deep + do some reflecting as I blog. Plus, it’s an easy way to set some goals + intentions for the season ahead. But, to be honest, the real thing I am after is to call in that autumn feeling. In just a few days the autumn equinox arrives + we crossover into fall. But, I just can’t wait. I’ve got to start feeling the vibes now!

In case you didn’t know, autumn is my favorite time of the year. Everything is just cozier + homey-er in the fall. And, since we officially enter the autumn season next week, I thought it was high time to begin to create a little fall feelings by sharing a little Q +A list to get us in the mood.

Interestingly, these questions are taken from a previous post that I shared. And that post has literally become my most visited post ever. Every fall I get so much traffic to that post. It’s crazy!I don’t really know why it became so popular. I didn’t do anything different… just wrote and shared as usual. So, I’m gonna chalk it up to the fact that so many people are like me and looooove this season.

Now, just so you know, I’ve copied + pasted the majority of the same questions into this post. I think it’s fun to see how my thinking may have changed. However, I’m afraid that I will probably write many of the same things I have in the past. My autumn feelings are deeply rooted in who I am, what I believe, and how I see the world. But, I ‘ve also added a few new questions to try to shake things up a bit. Mostly, all I want to do is to capture the essence of autumn with a bunch of fall- inspired questions + answers, old and new. Feel free to copy + use the list for yourself! I guarantee that it will get you in the autumn mood.

Ok, let’s get started!

What do you imagine when you think of fall?

Fall conjures images of deep, earthy colored-leaves, thick blankets, hot drinks, campfires + candles, darkness, and rich, thick, hearty food. It is the season of long, deep breaths, nights around a candlelit table, days in the forest with leaves crunching beneath my feet. I think about the magic of the dark, the mystery of the witch, and my connection to those who have gone before. I imagine my feet sinking into the ground, deep roots growing outward from them + down into the ancient river that flows in the center of the earth. I feel a sense of slowness and a rising of my own wisdom from the center of the earth, my ancestors, the cosmic divine, and my own soul. I imagine fall as a dark, natural, simple, quiet, mystical season.

What feelings/mood do you associate with fall?

I think I created the mood in my previous answer, but there are some specific feelings that I do associate with the autumnal season. the first is nostalgia. I always feel a longing for home, for traditions, for those quiet ancient things of the past – whether mine or my ancestors. It’s a yearning not to go backwards, but to honor with ritual + ceremony the memories, truths, and ways of the past.

This nostalgic feeling creates a sense of melancholy and mystery. Maybe a better word would be mellow. It’s not a sad feeling, per se, but a slow, deep feeling of contemplative longing. A desire to follow down into the dark, quiet, mysterious places of the dark + death. Not to be morbid, but to honor, recognize, and be grateful for all parts of the cycle of life. I feel a sense of almost calling to follow down into the dark forest, the unknown places, the deepest parts of life + soul.

What’s the worst with fall?

The worst? That it seems to go by so quickly! I try so hard every year to stay slow, but before I know it, the holiday season is beginning and it’s time to turn toward a new year.

And what’s the best with fall?

I love this season when it gets darker with each passing day, when the darkness overtakes the light. Sounds, crazy, I know. But, I think it resonates with my introvert’s soul. Every year I find that I thrive during the autumn months. I feel a sense of peace, connection, quiet… almost like having permission to let my true self out and into the dark.

But, also, the food and drink of this season. The cozy vibes. The mystery. The traditions. The holidays. And… my birthday!!

Your go-to fall outfit?

After living through a global pandemic I am assuming that, like me, you have a whole new appreciation for casual lounge clothes. Not just sweats + t-shirts, but nicer looking cozy clothes. This is my new go-to fall outfit. I mean, I love the sweaters and boots and scarves, but if I am truly honest, I only wear that when I am out. As soon as I am home, I break out the cozy loungewear. In fact, this fall I want to invest in even more. I mean, I still find myself at home more than out + about.

Recently, I bought a long, dark brown lounge dress + a thick, long, cozy beige sweater. I need some new slippers, I think. But this is the vibe I’m feeling. And I freaking love it.

What 5 things do you have to do every fall?

  1. I need pumpkins! I must have them in my home. And this year, on our balcony! I am so freaking excited. But, the most amazing thing is that there is a pumpkin patch nearby, so we are going to go pick our own pumpkin this year. It’s something that has just started to catch on in Sweden + I could not be more excited.
  2. Watching seasonal movies/series is such a cozy thing to do as the nights become longer + darker. I’ll share my faves in another question. 🙂
  3. In one way or another, I simply must commune with nature. It can be as simple as watching the sunset from my balcony + feeling the chill in the air, to walking around the river nearby, to a proper hike. I just want to get out a little, feel the air, smell the earthy leaves on the ground, photograph the colors + mood, and let nature inspire me as she surrenders to this season of death, darkness, and rest.
  4. I cannot let fall go by without cooking some of the warm, hearty recipes of the season. Thanksgiving dinner is an absolute must, but also other hot, thick soups. Oh, and hot, cozy drinks!
  5. One of the things I look forward to the most in fall is my morning routine. The mornings become darker + darker, the sun rising later + later. When I wake, I love to light candles and that’s it. I do my best to avoid using electricity, but instead let the natural rhythms of the day be my grounding, centering focus. From the equinox to Advent (before my Christmas tree goes up), it’s just me, my coffee, candles, and the magic of the season.

How do you treat fall depression?

I am fully aware that there are many people who have a difficult time with the darkness of this season. To be honest, last year, in the midst of the pandemic and other tough things at home and at work, I found myself not enjoying autumn as much as I normally do. But, the way to deal with the darkness, when it feels like it becomes too much, is to return to the things that I love about the season. So, it is actually a good idea to create an autumn to-do list. It’s a great place to return to to help get out of the funk of the dark, dreary, rainy, melancholic autumn days.

Best music for dark, rainy days?

Speaking of dark, rainy days… one of the things that I love to do when I’m feeling cozy + warm inside is to have a playlist that creates those cozy, warm, nostalgic feelings. I am a firm believer in the idea that music sets the mood, and because of that belief, I have created tons of playlists on Spotify. I’m updating a lot of them right now, but I’ll link a few below:

→ Mabon playlist (Autumn Equinox)

→ Samhain playlist (Halloween)

→ November playlist

What TV-series are the best to watch?

Alright. Here’s where I really get cheesy. But, tv series are my guilty pleasure. So, with a deep breath + a proud acceptance of what I like, here are my favorite fall series: Gilmore Girls is a must. Even though it moves through the years, there is always such a cozy vibe… but especially when it comes to the fall episodes. I also love The Good Witch. Sooo cheesy, I know. But, sweet, magical, and Halloweeny in every single episode. And I absolutely must watch all of the Halloween + Thanksgiving episodes of Friends. So. Much. Goodness.

What is your favorite autumn meal/recipe?

I love all Thanksgiving food. You can find my recipes and meal planning here. Plus, Thanksgiving really is a vibe for me. It is full of rituals + traditions that my love and I have created – based on those nostalgic traditions from my childhood.

Other foods I adore during this season are chili, thick + hearty soups, pumpkin + sweet potato recipes, and stews. My favorite spices are turmeric, cinnamon, sage, nutmeg, chai, ginger.

Speaking of spices, I’ll use tons of these to make my own homemade lattes + chais. So yummy. My other fave drinks of the season include red wines, hot cider, and whiskey. This year I also want to expand my pallet and try a few new spicy, cozy cocktails. It’s gonna be soooo cozy.

Which of the three themes of fall inspire you the most? (descend, gather, wait)

→ Descend

→ Gather

→ Wait

These are the themes for October, November, and December. Only a week of September falls in autumn, so I’ll let September remain the shifting, transitional month that it is. The heart of fall runs from the end of September until the 21st of December. I’ll be guiding us deep down into all of these themes as the months pass, but off the top of my head, I think that I am most drawn to the theme of warm, home-y theme of gathering. Or maybe waiting in the silence of the cold of December. Then again, perhaps the magical, mysterious descent into the darkness in October. Omg. I can’t choose.

How do you prepare for winter?

You know what? Honestly, I don’t prepare. I live a comfy, cushy urban life so I do not have to gather wood or bring in the animals. I do not even seem to enjoy the idea of canning vegetables + fruits for the cold months ahead, though it does sound romantic. No, I don’t do any of those old world, ancient ways activities. What I do, though, is try to be present all throughout autumn. I do my best to gather + release everything that I no longer need from this year so that I can be ready for a new start. If I stay mindful and present, then I am more than ready for the quiet, cold solitude of the dark winter months. That’s where the potential + possibility for new dreams is found.

Do you have a favorite fall quote?

“And all at once summer collapsed into fall.” – Oscar Wilde

Autumn has arrived 🍁
#autumn #fall #poetry #poetrycommunity #poetsofinstagram #writing #writersofinstagram #art #columbus #columbusartist #raquelfranco #wordsbyraquel

Wow. This has taken me for-eeever to create. But, I have most definitely resurrected my autumn spirit. I am one hundred percent ready to crossover the threshold into the season of mystical inward darkness on Tuesday. I hope that your fall spirit has awakened a little as well. Let me know if you answer these questions for yourself in your journal, on your blog or instagram or tiktok or wherever.

It’s mid-afternoon here, so I’m going to go make a warm chai latte now and snuggle up with my journal to plan a few more details for my descent into autumn. Allllll the cozy fall vibes to you, my friends. I’ll see you back here on Tuesday for the September full harvest moon. It’s gonna be magical!

xoxo. liz.

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