While fall can be dreaded by those who thrive in the heat of summer, the cooler season brings elation to many who enjoy the crisp air, seasonal foods and scents, and bonfires. Here in South Carolina, the sweltering heat of the summer can really drag you down if you are not the type of person who likes to burn your hands on your steering wheel upon entering your car.
The first hints of fall here usually are slight color changes in the trees; the trained eye can spot a changing leaf from a mile away. While we fight humidity for at least a third of the year, even the slightest change in the air brings hope that the change of seasons is approaching.
To me, fall is a wonderful example of Nature’s ability to remain beautiful through all of the many changes that she goes through. While swimming season may be ending, the season for bonfires, camping, apple picking, pumpkins, and many of outdoor activities are just beginning. Let us not forget the beautiful changing leaves. I live in Spartanburg County, which is only an hour and some change from the wonderful city of Asheville, North Carolina.
Asheville is known for many things; it is a hot spot for artists, foodies, hippies, outdoorsmen, dog-lovers, and photographers; it becomes extremely popular during the leaf-changing season, as you can enter the Blue Ridge Parkway here. Amongst the chaos that can come from being a popular area for tourists, Asheville is able to maintain its charm and simplicity.
People come from across the country just to drive through the Parkway or visit the Biltmore Estate, which is tucked away yet easy to access. The Biltmore Estate has many activities including wine tasting, horseback riding, a wonderful plant conservatory, and most famously the house tour.
You can enjoy a meal at one of the restaurants on the estate or head back into Asheville for delicious, local, and seasonal food and beer; the breath-taking mountain scenes of the Smoky Mountains vibrantly painted surround you anywhere you go in this area.
Heading back to the Upstate of South Carolina, you can find many a weekend bonfire party; some to celebrate the victory of your favorite football team, and some to simply enjoy the company of friends and family.
There are numerous apple orchards and pumpkin farms where you can visit, embrace some classic seasonal activities. Personally, I enjoy the smells of fall more than anything. The crisp air, the constant flow of apple cider and pumpkin spice aromas, the crackling fires...
they bring me to a magical place that reminds me of more simple times.
The symbolic significance of the fall is great; it literally represents the beginning of change, a new part of a cycle. When we embrace these changes, whether or not we realize it, we are taking our place in the cycle of the year and of life. Fall and winter both are times that many cultures and societies recognize holidays and come together as families.