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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Eighty Degrees and...Fallish? (Aug. 26, 2009)

Over the last week I’ve noticed that a few rebellious leaves are changing in my neighborhood. Upon first glance, the whole tree looks shamrock-green, but wait. What’s that? A few errant leaves near the center, turning orange around the edges. But it’s eighty degrees out! Yet the trees and my calendar are conspiring to bring on fall. I have mixed feelings. The late-afternoon breeze through the Eucalyptus leaves feels like fall, and I’m enjoying that. But letting go of summer is hard. Summer feels so optimistic: longer, brighter days, fun activities outside, the swaying hammock, a certain relaxed attitude that fall and winter don’t have.

On a very basic level, change can be hard. You must let go of the familiar for something different. This fall in particular brings big changes, so maybe the transition is harder than in other years. My oldest child starts school this year, and I’m a little anxious about the transition…MINE, that is!

I’ve known that fall was coming. The local craft store stocked Halloween stuff on July 5, so I’ve had ample warning. The back-to-school ads started about a week later, so I can’t plead ignorance about what is to come. Yet as Sept. 8 gets closer, school is no longer something distant, a speck on the horizon. Upcoming changes become real.

A few days in, and I’ll be fine. The fun parts of the new season (in the classroom as well as outside of it) will catch me in their excitement and I won’t yearn for summer. But the transition and the last two weeks before the change are hard. Time both races and drags. You want the change to happen immediately or not at all. Waiting is the worst. Let’s not prolong it. Just rip that band-aid off!

Aside from the shorter days, it’s not as if fall is all bad. It’s just the transition that has me a little freaked out. Once over the hump, I’ll enjoy all the things that fall brings: visiting the pumpkin farm where kids climb over a sea of orange as big as a football field. Halloween fun and apples from the orchards east of here. Bright lights on the neighborhood roofs. Even the crazy blur of the holidays.

So bear with me, and I’ll find my enthusiasm for fall. The changing leaves caught me off guard but I’m rallying. One more thing. You didn’t hear it from me, but there are only 121 days until Christmas!

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