A couple of nights ago, I noticed that it is getting dark way sooner than it has been – the lovely coming of Fall. I hadn’t really noticed it getting darker sooner before then. I guess I’ve just been too busy to see, or, perhaps I just didn’t want to see that another Summer has run its course.
Today is the first day of Fall. Though I end up really being discontent with the weather during the less sunny seasons, the beginning has always been something I have looked forward to. Yes, Spring and Summer are my favorites, but there are things to enjoy about Fall and Winter, beauties to be awed by.
Fall, of course, has the beauty of the changing colors of leaves, but there is more. The lighting is a bit different than in Summer (obviously), providing a different visual perspective on the world around you. As the leaves fall from the trees, exposing their tentacle and tendril-like branches, new art is created in front of the sky backdrop. And the skies! Blue is bluer, grays have more depth – even the rain changes to more of a moving partition, creating an atmosphere akin to a comforting isolation.
As the temperatures drop, Fall provides the ability to cocoon in warm, cuddly blankets, the warmth of fuzzy socks, new pictures to be taken with gloves on, and hot tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwiches after a nice, chilly walk. At least, this is how I feel at the start of Fall, before the cold just becomes too much.
Summer’s beauty is somewhat flashy and bold with flowers blooming everywhere, the trees fully dressed in rich, green leaves. Fall is a bit less flashy, though the changing of leaves from the beauty of Summer to the stunning array of colors of Fall is an amazing spectacle itself. Then Winter comes along with its beauties a bit more subdued, making it necessary to calmly observe what it has to offer. I know I have said that I have come to dislike the snow over the years, but there is a unique beauty in it. The hush it creates is surreal and, for me, at least, somewhat calming with a touch of leftover childhood excitement . That is, until the signs of civilization make their black marker hatch marks all over everything, snarled together like the twigs and branches of a slash pile – not so pretty.
The advent of Fall always brings up memories of the holidays from my early childhood. So many Thanksgivings and/or Christmas’ were celebrated at my Grandma and Grandpa Hite’s house. At least, that is how it comes together in my mind. I loved those gatherings. Everyone was there – aunts, uncles, cousins — EVERYONE.
I had always dreamed of carrying on this tradition with a family of my own, bringing together the different generations in celebration, but this has not happened. I have walked a different path, one that has not been conducive to what I had planned in my head. It saddens me that I am watching a tradition die. I do not believe that there is anyone in my family that has been trying to keep the tradition alive. I know I have not had that kind of Thanksgiving or Christmas since I was little. Granted, my families of origin are spread across the US, so that definitely is a contributing factor, I believe. I miss it, to say the least.
I think that as the comfort of my memories has worn off a bit over the years, being replaced by a sense of loss, is one of the main reasons I have come to dislike Fall and Winter as much as I have. Perhaps the child that still lives inside of me, in my memories, is pouting, heartbroken, disillusioned. I understand that the choices I have made over the course of my life have brought me to here, but this knowledge does not alleviate the feelings of loss.
When my kids were little, I still loved the holidays. There was a new type of excitement added for me because I was trying to give a piece of my childhood to my children. Now that they are grown, it has changed. I think kids really make the holidays because of the complete innocence and level of wonder and awe they still possess. Sometimes, I wish I could go back to being a kid, un-muddled by adult life, still capable of finding so much joy in the simple things.
How does your family celebrate the holidays? What things about fall and/or winter do you love? I’d love to get some feedback on this from all of you out there. Maybe it will help me find more of the beauty and joy of these seasons. If nothing else, I will get to see things from a perspective other than my own, which is something I absolutely love.