Oct 7, 2011

Where do you fall on fall?

Fall is a defining time of year, more so than the other seasons, I think.  In fact, I would even go so far as to say it may separate the glass-is-half-full crowd from the other half.  We can see it as the end of one season, or the prelude to the next.

Of course, how you view fall is influenced heavily by how you view summer and winter.

Growing up on the western plains and front range of the Colorado Rockies, I associated fall with the approaching onset (or rather, the onslaught) of an interminable period of cold weeks punctuated by snow storms, freezing temperatures and cloudy gray skies. A few snow-cancelled Halloweens in my childhood served to increase my disenchantment with the season. 

I was not a fan of winter in my childhood years, in case you couldn't tell.  (I never even attempted to ski on snow until I was married and returned to Colorado in the winter with my husband and then only twice.  If I'm going to get around on two sticks, I'd rather do it being pulled behind a boat on a warm lake in the summer.)  Because I dreaded winter, I viewed fall as the harbinger of cold. Instead of appreciating what it had to offer, I spent the autumn season bracing for what would come next.

The southeastern U.S. offers less extreme winter temperatures, and the cold season is relatively short (the big box stores put out seedracks and lawn and garden items as soon as they take down the Christmas displays.)   Years of short southern winters have softened my perspective somewhat.  I'm still not a card-carrying member of winter's fan club, but I don't loathe it.

Better still, I no longer view fall as merely the curtain call on summer, but I've learned to relax and savor it as a season in its own right, albeit as a period of paradoxes: warm but crisp days all rolled into one, sweaters and flipflops worn simultaneously, and piercing blue skies above a sea of blazing orange (on the trees and on game days.)

We have enjoyed our week of fall break, and the weather has been pitch-perfect for drinking up the last drop of summer's warmth.  Last night we enjoyed one final sunset.

Today we arose early to welcome the sunrise and prepare to head home.   It's time to turn the page and enjoy the pageantry of fall; the scenery will change daily until the last of the leaves are gone.  The daily temperatures are beginning to slowly drift downward, and as they do, our tastebuds begin warming up to the savory flavors of hearty foods once again.

I still can't say I look forward to winter, but I have come to accept and even welcome fall for what it is, instead of constantly peeking past it at what lies beyond. All things considered, I'd say my glass is more than half full; how about yours?

Happy fall to one and all,

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