At the pumpkin patch with the Montgomeries. Dearest friends on a misty morning. Watching the kiddos navigate a field of pumpkins. I could stay forever, listening to them talk pumpkin to each other and seeing them slog through the mud without reserve. Everything smells like it's been stomped and then rained on. I love it out in the country in the morning. It's hard to get out there in the very early morning if you don't already live there, but it's the feeling I long for — languorous autumn morning, stubbled fields stretching out and away, no sound but birds coming and going, the rain heavy in the air but it's not raining. The gray mist washes out so much color, rendering everything tentative and faint, and I like that. I like being cold and snuggling my nose into the crook of a toddler neck to warm up. I like eating bratwursts and caramel apples with our friends and their babies. I like the mud and the smell of mud. I love the bath at the end of the day. Mimi comes in with me at the end, crying a little as she draws. Scribbles on the tub with the soap crayons. Warm water pouring back and forth between little cups. No hair washing, and quiet conversation. Candles in the late afternoon. Soup for Sunday dinner, and I'm done working for a while. It's the season of resting for me, and I am relieved. Everything slows, and feels heavy and warm. I needed this.