Fall is my favorite time of the year! I love the crispness in the air, the coolness of the weather, the colors of the leaves. I love the anticipation of the holidays to come, the preparations, the smell of good food cooking, pies baking, cinnamon and spices, the decorations, the holiday music playing. I love the days getting shorter, the planning, the bonding with family and friends.
In my mind, Fall is the time when everything goes “back to normal” after summer’s carefree days. It’s the time when we resume the daily routines that shape our daily existence, that center us. Don’t get me wrong; I like the fun of summer days, but I also like the stability of structured life. When I was back in Chile, where the seasons are reversed, a place where people really take summer vacations seriously, everything pretty much shuts down during the month of February, and stays partly open during January. Thus I’ve always regarded the summer months as a time when things are put “on hold.” A time when one doesn’t expect getting much done, when public offices run at half-staff (literally), with shorter hours, functionaries on vacation. School is out, so either parents stay home to care for the kids, or go out of town escaping the heat; so the shops stay half empty, road traffic subsides, downtowns become quieter. In truth, it’s kind of unsettling; like a prelude to the end of the world.
But then March (Fall) comes and things come alive again! Kids go back to school, people go back to work, normal office hours resume, the hustle and bustle returns, roads become congested again. Not that this is a good thing, except to remind us that life goes on, and the world is still alive!