Falling for Fall: Why this Season has become my Kindred Spirit
I had my tennis shoes all laced up for a walk, baseball hat covering my unwashed hair, and was about to snag baby from the crib when I heard it. The “tink….tink tink” of rain against the metal parts of our house. I’ve been hearing it at night lately, too. A soothing sound that prompts me to pull the covers around me even tighter and drift into a deeper slumber than I’ve had in months.
Plan B: put baby down for a nap and sit down to write. As the rain gets louder outside, I crack my windows so the forceful sound invades my house, and breathe in the pure, tranquil air that is unique to a fresh downpour.
I’ve been really, really trying to wait until at least September 1st to write about fall. But I can’t. I am just too in love with this very specific turning point in the year, and I can FEEL that we’re in it. Right now.
It’s that time of year when you realize you are OK letting go of the vacations, beach days, outdoor adventures and warm nights that come with summer. OK with packing up the shorts and unpacking the sweaters. OK with fewer dinners from the grill and more from the slow cooker. More than OK is how I feel. I LOVE fall.
Up until about five years ago, I was a summer girl, through and through. I thought summer would always be my favorite season. I was happy as a clam to spend endless hours baking in the sun (insert skin cancer warnings here), getting tan as can be (and here), dipping into every lake, ocean and pool within reach (and here).
Growing up, like all American kids, summer symbolized freedom, and fall symbolized the surrender to those three dreaded words: back to school (also known as back to alarm clocks, back to homework, and back to pasty white skin). Maybe a big part of my newfound adult adoration of fall, is that none of these changes apply to my post-student self (well, except the skin tone one…but I wear a lot more sunscreen these days to begin with).
While summer tends to embody a carefree spirit, spontaneity, letting loose, and stretching ones boundaries – FALL represents stability, a return to the comforts of routine, a renewed appreciation for home, a cozy hibernation after the long exposure of summer.
Summer has always been summer and fall has always been fall. I realize it is I who have changed. I have become a person more in tune and akin to fall and all that it represents – it has become my kindred spirit. The older I get, the more I LIKE summer, and LOVE fall. It has come to be the season that most represents the values I hold dear: Home. Family. Tradition. Comfort. Introspection. Peace.
Plus, it is just so damn hot in my house all the time.
I am ready to stop sweating over the stove.
Godspeed, fall, Godspeed.
“The greatest thing in the world is not where we are, but in what direction we are moving.”- Oliver Wendell Holmes