“Changing colors, dropping temperatures, pumpkin spice lattes: do these mainstays of Fall fill your heart with warmth — or with dread?”
Autumn is, hands-down, my favorite time of year. I always welcome the official first day of Autumn (Autumnal equinox) with joy! As a leisure practitioner working 35 frenetic summers planning everyone else’s leisure time, Fall has become the time to rest, relax and reflect. The song, “Wake Me Up When September Ends” (Green Day), always played through my mind in the last few years. Although my instinct is to nest and relax, teaching as a part-time lecturer in a university can be frenetic as students jump back into campus life.
I live in the central valley of Northern California and Fall is very spectacular because of the abundance of deciduous trees. The start to Autumn this year had been odd. California is suffering through the worst drought in over 30 years. In efforts to reduce water use, one city’s slogan is “gold is the new green” referring to once lush, green lawns, now golden and dry. To make matters worse, we had a long, hot summer with temperatures averaging in the low 90s. As I write this blog today, it is 86 degrees outside at 3:30pm! A warm start to the first day of Autumn!
Because of the drought, the trees are already going into their dormant phase, already dropping leaves and fall is very early. A normal Autumn here peaks around mid-November. Usually this peak brings in much cooler temperatures (I’m tired of my flip-flops already!) and the motivation to seek out pumpkin spice lattes is high! So I am hopeful that our cooler weather kicks in quickly. I will be ready for a fire in the fireplace!
I always look forward to the Fall, and now that I am in my mid-50s, I realize that I am in the (early) Autumn of my life, assuming I live til I am 90 😉 With this realization, and the wisdom that comes with age (or is supposed to), I feel of a sense of peace overall with my life and my choices. Soon I shall retire from a wonderful career in public leisure service. While the idea of retirement can invoke fear in many Baby Boomers, I am embracing the conclusion to this long chapter of my life and ready to start writing a new chapter, in the Autumn of my life!