I feel you approaching day by day as September comes to an end, as the air starts to crisp and the weather holds a steady chill. I find myself anxiously awaiting more obvious signs that you have arrived. I dream of the morning when I awake to see the overwhelming tints of orange and red occupy the view through my windows. I appreciate how you take your time as you transition from heat waves to cold fronts, as the cooler temperatures slowly start to occupy the forecast. When the wind outside begins to howl, you silently encourage me to curl up on the couch and watch a movie or read a book alongside a warm drink to ease the chill of your cold spell. As fall fashion and festive activities commence, saying goodbye to summer suddenly isn’t so burdensome. Yet, you still remind me to enjoy my last few moments of feeling the warmth when sun rays rest on my skin.
With the start of school, my mornings have become daunting. It is a discouraging start to the day, waking before the sun has. I look forward to being welcomed into a new day with sun rays painted on my walls. For the months you are here, you ignite a nostalgic excitement in me, as you give me so much to look forward to. In October, you justify staying up late watching scary movies with my roommates, unboxing all of my coziest sweaters I packed away for the summer, spending an afternoon going to a pumpkin patch or carving pumpkins, going on hikes and so much more. In November, you give me so much to be grateful for, reminding me of the importance of family in my life. You encourage me to spend as much time with those I love and never take a second for granted. With the New Year approaching, you push me to evaluate among myself, the people I will bring with me on this new journey.
Growing into adulthood, I have come to appreciate the changing of seasons, as each has a different purpose. Spring represents the time of renewal, as the Earth thaws and explodes with new life. Summer is a time of light and wholehearted action, representative of ease. Winter allows us to feel a sense of stillness within ourselves, allowing us to quiet our minds and rekindle the peaceful connection between the mind and body. Fall, your purpose frightens me the most. You serve as a yearly reminder that impermanence is guaranteed and that change is inevitable. For most, change is difficult, for myself included, generating the tendency to cling to the past and shy away from the unfamiliar. You remind us that winter is around the corner and that we must embrace the oncoming change, whether we want to or not. Although it is frightening, your melancholia keeps me at ease as I hesitantly move forward. Throughout my life, I have come to realize that you don’t intend to threaten us, but rather teach us that although we might not recognize it right away, change is a good thing.
Looking back on my childhood days of dressing up in the craziest costumes for school, trick or treating and jumping into piles of leaves, it's hard to not feel an overwhelming sense of sadness. Yet, throughout my life, I have come to know that letting sadness consume the mind while looking back upon the past alters your ability to perceive the future and focus on the now. As the Greek philosopher Socrates once said, “The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new”.
Fall, you have come to serve such an important purpose in my life, whether I have recognized it in its entirety or not. I look forward to learning through each lesson you bring into my life, as you bring change to each year. I will forever be grateful to you. Thank you.