If I had to pick one non-food thing I loved about fall it would have to be the changing of the leaves and their descent downward. There is something so amazing about watching a full, lush green tree turn to shades of red, orange, yellow and brown and then gently drift to the ground.
I know many people who feel a bit differently about leaves. When you are one of the big people in a family, it is up to one of you to make sure chores get done, things are cleanish, people are fed and life moves forward. One of these chores is usually gathering lawn bags and raking and cleaning up all of those pretty but pesky leaves. When you have to devote a day to doing yard clean up, it can be difficult to sit back and notice just how lovely the leaves are and to appreciate the smell and the crunch of a good, dry leaf under your feet.
I feel this way about so many things in life. Summer I think is a prime example of this. Most people get really excited about beaches and sun and swimming. All I think of is all the sand I’m going to have to get out of clothes, all the sunscreen I have to put on, and all the sweat I’m going to shed just to sit outside and ruin my hair. My definition of summer will look a bit different from someone who loves summer and just sits and admires the green lawns, beautiful beaches and just sticks their hair in a ponytail or under a hat.
I found myself working my way into this again this summer and then tried something. I tried to remember that no season is forever and that there are good things about each season and each time in life. As a way to adjust my attitude and just be grateful for the day I have now, I stopped moaning and thought about my fall leaves. I knew they were coming, I knew the weather would cool and my hair would de-frizz so perhaps I could just stop and find the fall leaves in the summer day. That day I found the wonderful feeling of warm sun on my skin as I sat in warm green grass.
In a perfect world, I would do this every single time I’m ready to work myself into a lather about something I can’t really change. I don’t. But I am aware of it and when I feel myself start to clench up and get whiny, I hear a small voice reminding me of the fall leaves. Sometimes I can turn it around and sometimes I can’t. But I’m aware of this and I was not before so I consider this progress and strive to do better each day.
Since it’s fall right now, I’m not really struggling with weather related woes. But this season will not last and soon I will face things I do not love. But now I know that all things have their time and soon enough, I will be back to my trees and seeing the leaves give me a fond farewell in bursts of color then fall gently to the ground where they make the most delightful crunch under my feet. Even if fall is not your season, take a few minutes, grab some people (I highly recommend kids!) and just go crunch and jump and enjoy the fall leaves. Even if you have to clean them up later, they are truly something to experience in the fall and if you do not love fall, you can add this to your “Why Fall is not so bad” list!