Fresh Air and Fallen Leaves

Image by Chelsea Little; Fall Hike 2020

Legally speaking, I am an adult now; I have to pay taxes, and worry about getting nails in my tires, and other such adult things. Recently, I bought myself a new dresser, and honestly there is nothing in my mind more able to solidify the idea of being an adult than building IKEA furniture on your own. No matter how much the thought disgruntles me, I find myself having to admit just how much of an adult I have become. Yet, the other morning, when I stepped out of my car and felt the cool chill of autumn in the air, with it, the all too familiar memories of football games and leaf piles and costume hunting came rushing back. I had to hold myself from skipping into work as my mind dazed to what fall always brings with it; a sense, for me, of returning home.

People have been so upset recently about how early Target has put out their Halloween displays, and how quickly Starbucks released their pumpkin-themed beverages. Not a day goes by without word bombarding me; summer isn’t over yet! September just started! All around, I find people angry and sad with this fated passage of time, and I am a little shocked at how upset people are about autumn peeking its head through the record breaking heat waves that this summer had, just to remind everyone that cooler, merrier times are to come.

I would imagine that at this point, you might have assumed fall is my favorite season, and while you aren’t wrong, there is more to this, at least for me. Yes, nothing brings me, a girl from rural Maryland, more joy than knowing that flannel season is coming; that the farm markets and apple picking festivals are just around the corner. But that is not the purpose of my writing. I find myself confused at those longing to hold onto this summer as hard as I find those around me doing. I see people grasping at the final straws of the weather as if it were a lifeline; a raft in rough waters. For me, the approach of fall signifies an escape from the fevers of yet another Covid summer. For me, this turning of the time brings with it a change, a future, or maybe even a possible finish line to the awful of the pandemic-filled world we have found ourselves wishing for normal life in.

I am not just excited for the return of my favorite season, but rather, I am excited for the return of my favorite things, for the life I had before the world went sideways. I know this is still well away off, but the turn of temperature shows we are moving forward in time, away from that forlorn February day, rather than stuck in the blistering heat of reward-less stagnation. This summer has felt endless, filled with bad news and worse happenings, and fall brings with it the opportunity to step out of the humid heat of hard times. A gentle crisp of air, baptized with cinnamon and cider, to clear the mind of rattling old wrongs. While I know fall will not solve the problems we have found ourselves stuck inside of, it at a very minimum, like the turn of all seasons, it is a step forward, a fresh start, however small or childish it may seem.

I may be one of few so excited to see the first leaf of the season turn its amber, but at least, for those who anger at my excitement for fall, please know my premature celebrating is not a vengeful or silly one. Its a final celebration for me and my kin; one that will bring with it a joyous beginning, as every season before has done.

Image by Chelsea Little; Fall Hike 2020

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2 Responses to Fresh Air and Fallen Leaves

  1. Steve Simon says:

    Awesome, Chelsea! So glad you are on the blogging trail at USG, although I’ll admit I am firmly in the “endless summer” crowd, by nature. Still, the crisp fall air does feel good.

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