Adjusting to the Darkening Days of Autumn

What does the autumn season bring to mind for you? How do the fall months make you feel?

October, for me, marks the true start of autumn.  We’ve passed through the glorious Indian Summer of September. Now suddenly, as of October 1st, we’ve arrived in a new season. Overnight, daytime temperatures dropped dramatically, from 70s to 50s. Shorter daylight hours are punctuated by longer nights. More trees are turning their green leaves into reds, oranges, and yellows.  Those colors are also showing up at farm stands and in my kitchen as winter squashes, pumpkins, and apples.

Every year, saddened by the end of summer, I spend September shifting internally, striving to keep pace with my surroundings. Now I find myself reaching for orange sweaters and rust socks. I’m taking more time to roast vegetables and simmer broths for soups and stews. Brisk air invigorates me, yet its coolness also makes me want to curl up in a comforter on the couch. I strain to remember how to navigate these cooler days and nights. The increase in dark hours sobers me. I bemoan the loss of summer light and heat. I want to sleep earlier and longer. I want to eat more hot, hearty foods than the refreshing crisp salads of earlier harvests. I feel myself starting to turn inward, mentally and physically preparing for later fall and winter.

By October, I feel resigned and almost glad for the glories of fall. Yet still, a part of me resists more darkness than daylight, more cold temperatures than warm, and the need to wear layer upon layer just to feel comfortable. But I will adjust. I do each year, and by winter the weather of fall will seem a balmy memory, the predominant colors of red, orange, yellow will have yielded to shades of blue, grey, white. And I will be burrowed into the wool of my soul.

What about you?