It is Fall again in Maryland and the wind is turning cooler as the leaves begin to change. I love the fall, I always have. It is a season of in between, a slowing down of the long days of summer and a time of preparation for the upcoming winter nights.
In many ways my life is immune to the impact of seasons - I work indoors, on a computer, in a building in which the temperature is moderated to keep me cool in the summer and warm in the winter. My hands do not dig into the earth and feel the changes in texture as it cycles through seasonal life. My yearly schedule is even consistent without a school year type schedule to provide structure. Sometimes it scares me how disconnected I can live from nature - as I often find myself forgetting what season I am in or what season I am heading into or coming out of.
There is something about this disconnection from the seasonal cycles of nature that feels very unnatural, but I am comforted by fall. Fall calls me to attention, it brings me back to myself, reminding me of the fleeting nature of things and inspiring me to once again be aware; to take notice of the days of my life and to step lively into them with celebration of where I've come from, excitement about where I'm going and all the while being engaged in the present moment.
Fall does this for me through the slant of the sun which lights up the afternoon in a brilliance and warmth that is enhanced by and enhances the color of the changing leaves. Fall does this through the falling of leaves which reminds me of the impermanence of things, bringing a delightful crackling sound to my steps as I walk through them and making space for the new life that will burst forth after the restful dormancy of winter. Fall is simultaneously melancholy and hopeful and brings the warm glow of those emotions to life within me. Fall ushers in a cold season of dark evenings but it sends us off to meet winter in a blaze of color and possibility.
So I give thanks for yet another change of season that has once again brought fall to my front door. I give thanks for the reminder of the natural cycle of change, for those things which are coming to a close, those things which remain in full swing, and the potential of things yet to come. I give thanks for the beauty surrounding me and the fullness of life in this transitional moment.