When you’re from Florida fall really means nothing more than scouting for a good price on turkey for Thanksgiving and wearing fall colored shorts instead of summer colored shorts.
I was ten years old when we moved to Tennessee (our favorite vacation spot) and it totally changed my perception of fall. Transition came about, too, from girlhood to something else. Womanhood, maybe?? Hmmm….
Fall: leaves turning golden brown, burnt orange, mustard yellow, beet red, and all shades in between. Oak and Maple leaves fluttering down all around you like summer’s snowflakes. Hearing them make that crackling sound as the wind rustles them in the late afternoon.
Fall: magical time when your heart warms with expectation and all your food takes on pumpkin and cinnamon flavors…. whether it is logical or not. Pies and autumn dances and hayrides and bonfires.
Fall: friends sharing stories over cups of coffee while adorned in denim jackets and scarfs.
Fall: that gentle touch in the air that says ‘Don’t worry… each day is a new day.’ and that’s when you know it’s coming. There are still hot days. There is still warm summer sun at noon, for which you’re glad, it’s not quite time yet. But there is the “touch” in the air. That northern wind through the trees.
And to me, I guess fall represents something else. The way the trees live. The way seasons of life come and go. First they are graced in the spring with new leaves, bright and green. They drink up the air. They live and thrive. Then through summer they’re at their fullest. But as the hot summer months linger they begin to feel a little burnt. They seem to ache. October creeps in and they slowly begin to fall away. Each leaf shed from it’s owner until Pines and Sycamores alike, have been undone. Until they are all equal. Until they stand side by side stripped of ego and beauty. As if silently acknowledging ‘This is me. All I am. It is time to rest. To strip away the old. To take time. To rebuild. To renew.’ And there is beauty in that also. That is the truest transition in the fall. There is allegory.. metaphor in the change of the leaves, to me.
Here we remain, for a brief time, caught up in the moment. In the transition. In the death of old and wind of change. Of new. We remain here, caught up in the transition. Perhaps the hardest place to be. The most barren. The tenderness of change. The acknowledgement of loss, of humility, of inability to be more than what we are… lovely in our weakness. There inlays the gift of change, that split-second before it happens when you shed your pride, side by side, perhaps, with another, and open yourself up to the scary newness of the next season of life.
I’ve dwelt on ‘change’ a lot the past year. I’ve thought about how must gusto I had when I was very young. Anything new was enticing. Then, in recent years, I’ve found change more and more difficult. I had an epiphany one day as I considered just what it was that bothered me about change. It’s not the change itself it is the transition. And that, I suppose, is why I decided to make my series: 31 Days of TRANSITIONING to Autumn. Because Autumn is symbolic, as I mentioned, of transition to me. I love Autumn. Could I learn to love change?
So, join me this October as I post every. single. day on the many small, seemingly insignificant, changes and transitions taking place. Whether it be in nature, clothing, food, home, or heart.