While even someone like myself who generally dislikes summer must admit there is something comforting about walking thru the neighborhood on a summer night and hearing the low hum of crickets chattering to each other I find it is even more enjoyable to walk thru that same neighborhood on a fall night and hear silence. The days get shorter. Things get cooler. You can actually think. I get more energized in both my work life and personal life. It's easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. There's something special about getting the house ready for winter. You must make sure that you, your home and loved ones are all prepared for the approaching ice, snow and cold. Did you replace that warped door? Will that window frame make it through the winter? Fall means trips to apple orchards for apple fritters, various fruit pies, hayrides, syrup, apple cider, apple juice, applesauce, hard candies, brownies and of course apples! There's very little you can't make with apples. You can learn a lot about the food chain by taking some trips to farms and farmer's markets. Although I didn't appreciate it as much as I should have accompanying my father on Saturday morning trips to Eastern Market was fun. I think it's important to see where our food comes from. Unfortunately no matter where you live it has become more difficult to do this but the fall apple harvest makes me feel more connected to the food chain, even if this is an illusion sold by corporate agribusiness. Fall means football. Whether it's going to see your nephew or cousin play in a high school game, hearing people pound the drums on Friday night for the upcoming college game on Saturday or settling in to watch the NFL games on Sunday, watching football remains an exciting activity for me. Football is my favorite sport.
I think that the greatest benefit of fall, particularly if you live in a continental climate such as any part of the Midwest or most of the northern US, is the changing colors of the trees. Just like humans and other animals, the trees are shutting down food production and storing energy for the winter ahead. We benefit from seeing all the crazy colors produced during this process. Although I am not a photographer sometimes I can't help but stop to take pictures of the wondrous changes occurring all around us. Eventually there is a bleakness to fall, a time when all the leaves have fallen off the trees but the snow has yet to arrive. Everything is just gray. Nevertheless, I even like that time. I have never understood why anyone needs mood altering substances, legal or otherwise, when there is just so much natural beauty out there. If you are a busy person climbing the corporate ladder and working 80 hours a week or if you are someone who works 100 hours a week but already has the corner office, fancy title and income because you're the smartest or biggest wolf in the pack I still hope that you take time out from your busy day as Master/Mistress of the universe to marvel at the elegance and artistry that is nature. Because one day sooner than you might think you won't be able to do that. So what are you waiting for? Get off the computer, go out and enjoy the world already!