Summer is vitality, an overflowing sense of life and immediacy. Gardens, activity, and late, hot nights.
The other day, while gazing out at the garden full of plump, shiny red tomatoes and a lawn browning in full summer sun and heat, I noticed a small oranging maple leaf on my doorstep.
I think it is from a tree across the street, which, I noted last year, seems to be the neighborhood’s early warning of Fall.
I’ve been ambivalent about Fall for many years. I was sensitive to the smell of decaying leaves, and the sense of death the season brings. I declared that I hated Fall.
But I liked school, so going back was exciting. I admit I completely bought into the marketing push for back-to-school shopping. The thought of new colors, sweaters, layering, denim and boots still inspires enthusiasm even as I am reluctantly conscious of the freeze that follows.
And where I grew up in somewhat rural New York, there would be apple picking, fresh cider, pumpkins and pies. Spicy, sweet, round fall flavors culminating, of course, in Thanksgiving.
I obviously don’t hate the fall.
Though I’m not in school anymore, there’s still that sense of “back to…” Back to work, back to life, back to plans made and put on hold to allow for adventure and relaxation.
It’s always difficult get back to reality after a summer of vacations and easy warmth. This is even more difficult when the return trip is excruciating. Hours spent in the dirty, uncomfortable, offensively upholstered airport seats do not smooth the transition back home.
I suppose the trick is to figure out how to integrate the best of summer into the remainder of the year. Display objéts gathered on vacation. Preserve treasures from the garden. Make a photo album or print some favorite shots.
Ultimately, it’s about finding ways to let the inspiration that I found elsewhere inform my approach to daily life, change and enrich me.
Some of my goals going into the Fall…
How do you find the seasonal transition? Do you love fall? Hate it? Did you have fabulous summer adventures?