In spring the winds blow up from the south, shepherding warmth to the coldest regions. In autumn, quite the opposite. Down from the north they sweep like cleansing brooms, pushing into every corner, scooting the leafy remnants of summer into the center of the yard before flinging them to the four corners. Autumn’s winds are high winds, bully winds. They push through the clouds, scattering them, then swoop down to shake the trees, spinning multicolored leaves in spirals or great golden bursts.
There’s a distinct coolness underlying the winds of October even when they blow the warmth of the sun directly in your face. On them you can detect a hint of bitterness, of ice, and through them you can hear summer calling farewell from the treetops. Wood smoke and a faint hint of leather are borne on these winds. The cries of the geese travel on them, and the haunting sound of the hunting owl.
Autumn winds are not lullabies, as summer winds tend to be; they seek instead to push, to harry, to agitate. They are pillaging winds, forces of change that can stroke your cheek with warmth one moment and slap it the next with a hard, cold hand. The seasonal wheel turns, the winds blow. Autumn’s balance of August heat and November frost will give way to January’s shivery cold but for now the winds play both sides of the game, blowing warm one day, cold the next. It will be a long time before they speak again of spring.