Up until this season, I've hated fall. I've hated it because it meant saying goodbye to my favorite season and dreading my least favorite season lurking around the corner.
I've always been a summer girl. Sun. Beach. Tanned skin. Bathing suits. Water. Swim team. Life guarding. Vacations. Camps. Sweat. Long days and late nights. My birthday. Our wedding anniversary. Our referral-versary. And on and on and on. From the time I was a little girl, I've adored summer. It holds a special place in my heart for all kinds of physical and emotional reasons. Summer is what I'm about. I was born into it and it describes me well. It's one of the many reasons I loved living in SoCal...it's one big summer peppered with tastes of the other seasons. My summer soul has a home in SoCal.
So, last year when we moved from SoCal to Northern Indiana in the middle of summer, I could handle that season. But all too quickly, fall emerged and the terror ensued. I had no emotional space (for a bundle of reasons) to enjoy fall. I had no time to soak in the chilly mornings and evenings and go for a run with my nipped nose. No energy to stare at the changing tree leaves in wonder and delight. Pumpkin patches and apple picking had no place in my heart. It all felt like a cruel way to trick me into forgetting that summer was over and winter was dooming. So, I hated fall.
But Brian loves fall. For the 11 years we lived in SoCal, he missed it every September and October. While the temperatures spiked in the OC for those two months, Brian bemoaned watching college footballs games where folks wore hoodies, hats, and could see their breath while cheering for their teams. Fall in the OC felt like an Indian Summer every single year.
As summer wrapped up this year and the seasons began changing, Brian called me out on my seasonal issues. With all seriousness, he challenged me to find a way to love fall. Don't blame it for summer leaving and for winter ensuing. Find ways to love it. Look for those little lights like Nancy inspired me to do a year ago.
Up until now, I've hated fall. I've got a ways to go on my journey to loving fall, but I don't hate fall this year. I'm learning to love it for what it is - chilly mornings with "snow breath" as my kids call it, leggings returning to my wardrobe, perfect temperatures for running, stunning fall leaves on Indiana trees, apple picking followed by apple cider donuts (thanks Sarah for that gem), decorating for Halloween, nights when the kids collapse (or jump) into bed earlier than summer, crisp evenings watching the sun set in showoff colors of purples and pinks, a need for comfy slippers to warm cold toes, coffee tasting better in the morn because I'm shivering a bit more getting out of my warm bed. My appreciation for this season is expanding.
Those are little lights. The seasons are changing in the natural world and I'm paying attention this year. As the seasons change outside my window, they are also changing in my soul. New dreams are emerging. New commitments are being made. New opportunities are coming and being seized. New goals being set for our future. That's the things about seasons - they come and they go. And I want to be a person who captures them, not dreads them or scorns them or wishes for the old over the present. Seasons change. That is life and I want to live it to the fullest.