What a relief to welcome the first day of autumn-- the fall semester, sharp new pencils, soup. During our drive across country we stopped at the Petrified Forest National Park. In addition to the very autumnal colors on display, my favorite part was an exhibit at the park's modest museum. At every turn, there's a reminder admonishing the removal of even a nugget of petrified wood. The letters above come from remorseful thieves. "Nothing in my life has gone right," since I stole the wood, says one letter. The other: "My life has been totally destroyed since we've been back from vacation." I couldn't help but notice they were written in the fall, before the year's end. Something about the season and making things right...

Looking at these colors I was reminded of a Fyodor Tyutchev poem I studied long ago:

At autumn's beginning
There is a short, but wondrous time
When days seem made of crystal
And evenings are radiant…

Also: this Kitchen Sisters' piece on blacksmith and forager Angelo Garro is an inspiring way to ring in this season of bounty.