The cooler nights herald the arrival of the fall season. Fall is a sad time for some. Marking the end of summer and foreshadowing the arrival of winter with its cold and leaden skies. But for me fall is the desirable season, the one I wait for and enjoy the most. Some might suspect it is because I myself am now in the fall of my life and that I perhaps identify with the season. But they would be wrong. I have loved fall since childhood.
I recall collecting and waxing colored leaves with my grandmother. Raking and burning leaves (when that was still allowed) and that unforgettable aroma I associate with fall long since gone. Enjoying the warm days and cool nights. Reveling in the colors that overtook the once green trees and shrubs marking them with hues of gold, red and brown.
Perhaps my love of fall is related to my life-long love of the elderly. Loving the stories they tell, of the wisdom they learned from the hard lessons of life. Enjoying the less judgmental nature of many elders. What is the connection?
The stresses and bounty trees endure in a growing season show up in the color and vividness of the leaf color. Their colors are often badge of honor for dealing with ice, frost, drought, heat or an over-abundance of rain or sunshine. So too with people we can often read from their attitudes, openness and acceptance a vivid result of successfully dealing with the difficult vicissitudes of their lives.
Fall may well lead into the seeming death of winter. But for me it is more of a celebration of life well lived and promise fulfilled – though often not as imagined in youth. It is not a season for sadness but for pride, and exuberance. For running though the piles of life experience spread at our feet like raked leaves to delight in them and enjoy them before the winter winds come and scatter them in preparation for new life to emerge once again.