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The temperatures are still in the upper 80s, the grass still needs to be mowed, the leaves on the trees are still a glorious chlorophyll-induced green. So why do I have that “fall feeling”? It’s an undeniable urge to rake leaves (gasp!), start planning for Halloween, cook up a nice acorn squash (seasoned with butter and a bit of garlic), and brew a pot of Assam tea to go with it. All this even though the calendar has not yet reached the Autumnal Equinox, when the hours of daylight equal the hours of nighttime, and marking the point where the daylight hours start to get fewer and fewer until the Winter Solstice.
Maybe I’m feeling this pre-Fall “fallness” because a stray leaf, all yellowish brown and curled, fell past my window, drifting back and forth on a slight breeze. Maybe it’s because stores already have the costumes and candy on display. Maybe it’s that the school year has started again. Maybe it’s because the Summer days were hot and muggy, and I’m ready for the promise of cool, crisp days that come with Fall. Whatever the reason, I feel that same sense of renewal I always feel when the seasons change.
It’s almost as if each season were a project, with various tasks to be done. The season passing is a project finished, while the new season is a project ready to be tackled head on.
First, I need to check my list of Summer project tasks. Exterior painting and repairs on the house done – check! Plants pruned and kept healthy – check! Family vacation planned and taken – check and check! Plenty of time spent hiking, biking, splashing in the pool, playing baseball and basketball – check, check, check, and double check! Okay, the Summer project tasks are done. Now, I can move on to the Fall project.
But the calendar says it’s not Fall yet. No problem. I’ve decided to go by my internal calendar, the one that longs for all the great Fall things: wrapping myself in a favorite sweater, enjoying a warm slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream, long walks through a woods where the leaves have shed their green and revealed the yellows, oranges, and golds underneath, and of course pots and pots of steaming tea!
You probably have your own special things that mean Fall to you. And you’re probably waiting for the days on the calendar to tick by until the official start of Fall arrives before indulging in these things. I say, “Why wait? Time flows in one direction. Once those days are gone, you can’t get them back.”
Snuggle in that comfy sweater (get a little extra atmosphere by popping in a fireplace video and play it while you settle in on the sofa). Pop some popcorn (the microwave kind will do but won’t be quite as traditional as the stovetop kind). Take a long walk (the leaves may not be turning colors yet where you live, but you can pretend). Have a Fall treat such as acorn squash or pumpkin pie. Don’t forget a healthy dollop of whipped cream. Oh, yeah, and a big pot of strong tea.
Go ahead, indulge your “Fall feeling”!
© 2009-2016 A.C. Cargill photos and text