Hanging On To Autumn

Here in the Northeast U.S., we are fully enrobed in autumn. The leaves have switched their warm green summer clothes for cool sweaters of yellow, brown, orange, and red (yes, I like to think of the leaves wearing sweaters, like I am). When taking my morning run or walking my son to the bus, I am taken with how truly beautiful the trees look. Mother Nature puts on quite a show.

There is a crispness that comes with autumn: leaves crunching under your feet; the crunch of a firm, ripe apple; the pop and slide noise a knife makes as you carve your jack-o-lantern. There is plenty yet to do outside. We just need to wear coats and hats.

As we play outside or take a walk, I yearn to hold on to this in-between time. It is no longer the warm, long days of summer. And winter has not yet arrived. Yes, my husband is mourning now that the pool is closed and it is dark soon after he gets home from work. This is all the more reason to hang on to every precious moment of this transition time. Soon, we will be inside, cozy in front of the woodstove and under blankets. Going outside will take more than just throwing on a jacket and a pair of shoes.

Don’t get me wrong. I like many parts of winter too. I especially enjoy reconnecting with family and friends over the holidays. But I am in no rush.

While spring is a time of renewal and rebirth, autumn is a time for me of pause and introspection. Where am I at? Did I get where I wanted to be this year? Or am I on a completely different path? What else do I want to accomplish this year? What do I want to make sure not to miss?

The bustle of day to day life seems to pick up as soon as September begins. Just look at the stores: school supplies are displayed in July, Halloween costumes are up in September, and some of my stores even have Christmas decorations on the shelves already (By the way, isn’t Thanksgiving in their somewhere? Sigh. Another topic for another post.) If you take all of the school and extra-curricular activities, and add in this pressure to rush towards the next big thing, you could feel overwhelmed. Panicked. Even stressed.

But Mother Nature has a built-in de-stressor. Go outside. Look to the trees and the sky. Take a deep breath. Listen to the wind. Feel the sun on your face. Watch your children jump in the leaves, or play flashlight tag at twilight. It’s very hard to stay stressed when you are open to the wonder.

What are your favorite things to do or experience in autumn? Please share.