Fall has finally arrived, but I’m not ready for it. I’m not ready yet to say goodbye to Summer, with its long, hot days and warm nights. I don’t want to pack away all my Summer clothes and exchange my sandals for shoes and socks. I hate the way the flowers in the pots around my patio are beginning to wilt and wither no matter how much I water them, and the way the daylight is fading just a bit earlier with each passing week. Yes, I know the calendar says Summer officially ended over a week ago, but in my mind, there should be at least another month of it to go.
Part of the problem is that my husband and I didn’t get to have much of a Summer this year. He had a bad reaction to surgery in early July, and his extended hospitalization and recovery period meant we had to abandon our plans for a Summer getaway trip. And it seemed as if by the time my husband was finally feeling well enough to enjoy Summer activities, the season was practically over. I think it’s hard to move on to a new season when you don’t feel as if you really experienced the old one.
My guess is that a lot of people are feeling that way these days, even though their personal situation isn’t exactly the same as ours. We’ve been living through some very strange times, mostly due to the horrible pandemic that refuses to go away, and also because of the many natural disasters that have occurred and what feels like more than our usual share of political upheaval. So many of us have felt the loss of the things that we hold dear about our normal lives, and it’s only natural to have trouble letting go of our expectations and moving forward.
The trouble is, we don’t really have a choice. Time marches steadily on, usually faster than we would prefer, and there’s not a darn thing we can do about it. Clinging to our ideas of “what should have been” doesn’t get us anywhere we want to be, and it actually makes it harder to move into the future with any hope or sense of purpose. The only thing to do is move forward, appreciating what we have and anticipating what is to come. Because there will always be something to enjoy and treasure if we can just open our eyes and see it.
So I’m dragging out my Fall decorations, placing pumpkins and mums on my front porch, and pretty soon I’ll bake the traditional pumpkin pie that, to me, always signals the beginning of this season. I know that the leaves on the trees will soon be exploding in beautiful colors and that the shorter days mean cooler nights, which are perfect for enjoying on our patio. No, I didn’t get the Summer I had hoped for, but who knows? This Fall might just make up for it. It’s worth a try, anyway.