Right about now, almost every blog post or newsletter is going to start with a comment about the leaves turning colours, the chill in the air, pumpkin spice everything and the stress of prepping for the holidays.
I admit, when I sat down to write this post, that’s where I started because it’s the obvious place to go. The weather is cooler and the colours of the fall leaves are beyond stunning, but then I began digging a little deeper into why I hold this season so dear and why it truly is my favourite time of year. Spring may be about renewal and rebirth, summer about getting outside, but the fall transports and inspires me to a time of innocence; a time when life hadn’t yet become complicated.
I grew up on a street dominated by massive oak and maple trees that formed a canopy over the road and sidewalks. In the fall, these trees would literally explode with colour blotting out the blue sky and covering the ground in soft ponds of orange and red. Jumping into a pile of those big scented leaves was an escape that I embraced even before I truly understood why.
Years later, and long after I had left home and moved across the country, my dad sent me one of those leaves safely folded into a birthday card. Suddenly, I was 7 years old again. I kept that big orange maple leaf tucked away in a chest along with high school yearbooks, gymnastics medals and letters from first loves. It’s nothing more than dust and stems today, and even though time has broken down its skin, that leaf kept me strong and grounded when I was far from home.
All grown up now with my own garden of leaves to rake, fall always brings me back to the memories of big trees, home, hearth, warmth, and simplicity. That first kiss of cool air in the morning signals much more than just a transition from the hot humid lazy days of summer. It prompts us to pause, and this is important because like everyone else, we juggle the demands of family and work, friends, health, parents, and life until we start working on autopilot. The clock doesn’t slow down, but the seasons are supposed to be our guide and if we follow their pace they can help us navigate. Fall signals a time to reflect, to re-set and regroup. It’s is about getting back to the things that matter, slowing down and settling in for winter’s gracious gift of stillness.
If you have a chance, I highly recommend stealing a moment and letting yourself fall into a big pile of orange leaves, at least one more time, if for no other reason than to remember what its like to be seven again.