Do you have a favorite season of the year? If so, which one and why?
After a long winter I welcome the spring for the flowers, milder temperatures and the pleasure to see the grass again. Though summer sports and vacations have their appeal, the extreme heat and humidity can be too much for me. Yes, winter has its wonderland days, but at my age the fun of making snowmen, igloos, and having snow ball fights has sort of passed. Now it’s more fear of driving in the snow, clearing off cars, and shivering any time I go out the door.
So, my favorite season is fall. It always has been for many reasons. As the summer drags on I wait at the special gate of autumn. The gate door opens with the cooler nights, milder days, and fall back in time for the extra hour to sleep.
Once I’m through the gate I see the leaves on the trees start to change to brilliant colors near my home. You not only see their beauty, but you smell the earthy goodness, too. I always treasure trips with my hubby to the orchards to pick autumn apples. We make compote, pies, and just savor the special yumminess of autumn varieties. This orchard we go to also has the best cider, which they use to make special donuts. Ahhh, these donuts taste so good with a cup of coffee. Often in the autumn we eat them for breakfast by a campfire. Camping on weekends in fall is superb. For some reason it is then when I feel closest to nature, and my maker.
I remember as a kid through 21 years old looking forward to the new school year. It’s funny, you can dread school most of the time, but come September it is exciting to make that progress one grade higher. You see more friends, buy new clothes, and are excited by new things to learn. Now as a middle-age adult, I enjoy watching the kids standing on the corners for their buses with their back packs on. Occasionally I visit my alma mater and remember the freedom of total independence. Great memories!
I happen to have seasonal mood shifts as a result of my bipolar disorder. I do get early spring mood elevation, but my moods then tend to fall and level off slightly down in the summer. Then the autumn sensory delight begins to lift me up again. Looking back at many years, autumn is when I’m at my healthiest, mentally and physically. I’m most motivated to get out and exercise. I eat better than usual and savor the goodness of each moment. It is at this time I like to call my ultimate “normal”, a normal just a touch above the rest.
At the end of autumn, with leaves on the ground, I feel and smell the slight nippiness in the air. That crisp coolness refreshes my whole body when breathed in. I feel cozy in my fleece jacket. Then comes October 31st, which is not just Halloween, but the first night we light our fireplace. We sprawl out on the floor with pillows next to the fire and hear the crackling of the burning logs. It is the start of the holiday season, but not the most stressful part. No, there is still a month to go before the real rat race begins.
As the cold days come I go back to my nook and lock the gate again.