How will you mark the changing seasons?
FOOD and DRINK
I know that for me, warm apple cider on the first or second cool day of the year is a big tradition. There are so many seasonal foods that I crave all year long. In the Spring and Winter I long for Watermelon, but these days I find myself excited about squash, turkey, and pie. This natural craving for seasonal foods is rooted deep in our biology from a time when you really couldn't get strawberries in January. I invite you to celebrate the changes in your life by eating seasonally. You might be shocked by the memories that accumulate around the meals in your life when you bring just a touch of continuousness to your palate.
Arts and Crafts
I also get excited about pumpkins. I know it is silly, but I just love a good pumpkin carving where your up to your elbows in innards and joy. Every year I long for the disgustingly rewarding feeling of scraping out the seeds with a spoon. It just doesn't feel like Autumn until there is a jack-o-lantern on my doorstep. The Fall is also a great time for other types of crafting. Those of you who love a good hot glue gun, get it out and start on that wreath of autumn leaves, a new quit, or your Halloween costume. I'll be over here, with my pumpkin guts.
Time in Nature
There is no better time to get out doors and just go exploring. If you are lucky enough to live in a place where foliage shifts, I implore you to just step out side some time and be grateful for what you have. In Texas, we have mosquitos...but the cooler weather will eventually lull them to sleep, at which point I will get outside to walk...or do some much needed gardening.
It isn't quite time for that Winter fire, but the Fall is a beautiful time to gather friends for a board game night or a simple meal and movie. Ancestrally we all know to move inwards as the weather cools, towards our close communities and families. Take the excuse to huddle up and laugh with a group of people who make you feel cozy and at home.
Even something as seemingly simple as pulling all your sweaters and hats out of summer storage can be done thoughtfully. When I was in high school in Houston I remember so distinctly those precious "sweater days" when everyone could wear their warm clothing. For me it marked a change in the feeling of the world. Life was cooler and so was I. As you pull out your favorite scarf this year, notice how you have changed since the last time you wore it.
Most of you have figured out by now that I love holidays. I love the history of them and I love the way people use them year after year to tap in to the season. All cultures have some sort of harvest of Fall celebration. Take a moment to research the traditions of your own background, or find a way completely your own to celebrate the harvest. For me, as an anglo American, it is Halloween. This simple strange holiday has it's roots in a combination of Catholicism, Celtic rituals, and 1950s nostalgia. I love spooky stories full of mystery and suspense almost as much as I love dressing up. That said, I use the season not just to evaluate my own fears but also to bring those who have gone before me in to my awareness. The memories of my grandparents, deceased friends, and lost opportunities fill my mind in Autumn.
Because with the Fall comes not just relief from summer heat but also grief that it is over. As we ease in to Winter, let us savor these joyful Fall rituals and mourn the echo of long summer days.
What new memories will you create in this season of remembrance?