After a long, hot summer, autumn has finally arrived, bringing with it the crunch of fallen leaves under our feet and the smell of woodsmoke on cool nights. Now that it’s not quite so hot, we go on nature walks to marvel at the fall colors or jump in a pile of leaves, just because. Football games, apple picking and pumpkin carving all await us in the crisp fall air.

We naturally turn a little inwards this time of year. We cocoon, wrapping ourselves in scarves, blankets or thick sweaters as darkness comes earlier each night and the temperature drops. We say a little goodbye to our barbecues, because soups, roasts, curries and chilis are just around the corner. And as comfort food makes its annual comeback, we bake, scenting the air with muffins, cookies, and pies.

Autumn is a busy season for a lot of us, bookended by both back to school and end of year festivities. Halloween and Thanksgiving give us good excuses to decorate like crazy and scrub the house clean. We gather with friends and family for a hayride or a glass of cider around the fireplace. Fall is a season for reflection too, as we give thanks for all that we have been given, while making wishes for the future.