An argument for fall: its invitation to live for today

I’m never happier than right now, when the wind shifts, and the AC stops blowing on me at my desk so that I have to go get a jacket inside my own house, and the bugs go away.

I can still hear locusts at night, but they are fading. The first dry leaves crackle under my feet and I look up to verify that only a few have gone yellow so far. The sunset has shifted so far to the left that I have to lean to see the center of it.

I pull out my favorite sweater, and some long-sleeved cozy shirts, and I find the box of socks that I haven’t seen since spring. I’d forgotten the crazy multicolored ones I bought last year - they’ll be fun to wear until next spring. And pretty soon, the capes, or whatever they are calling them this year.

I’ve got to remind myself how to use the fireplace in the new house, so I can make the most of the chance to use it. I don’t house-decorate like a lot of people do, but I have a few things to set out.

Every season seems like a new opportunity to change things up, but fall most of all to me. I either made the most of summer, or not, usually not, but here is fall with its apple picking and orangey-golden hues, and warming sun when I need warming.

I can walk forever in the fall, in the woods, on the dunes, on city streets; with other people, especially my favorite walking friends, or alone. I don’t walk with music. I walk to hear conversation, or the bird/ bug/ mowing/ flowing/ crunching sounds of wherever I am.

Someone I’m close to doesn’t like fall because it is a warning that winter will follow, but then, he’s a golfer who glories in summertime. To me, that makes fall all the more important. We have a chance to take every day and wring out what it has to offer – freedom from shivering cold and from beastly hot, freedom to look anywhere and see colors we miss the rest of the year, freedom to live in the moment and be satisfied.

Actually, the fact that it seems fleeting is part of the treasure, I think. It is so clear that it doesn’t last forever. But nothing does – not joy, not sorrow, not worry, not fear, not excitement. It all folds in upon us, as it comes and goes. And it’s up to us to live in it as fully as we can, just for today, the only day we will ever have to work with, after all.

 

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