Before I retired, which means when I was nine years younger, I always claimed to prefer autumn over all other seasons. Spring with its gentle rains and slow-sprouting leaves was too pastel, too wimpy. Autumn meant bold oranges and reds, windstorms, and leaves piling up everywhere, ready to skitter and dance when I walked through them.
One of my biggest arguments against autumn is that daylight vanishes for months. When I worked, I used to leave home in the dark, get home in the dark, look out my office window at two p.m. and ask my secretary if it was bedtime yet. My schedule has changed, but the dark days persist.
Given this gloom and doom picture of the season I’ve been painting for myself, I decided to make autumn a very active season, keeping so busy I won’t notice how dark it is outside. And, given recent developments in national politics, by accident, I’m also providing myself with plenty of distractions from the twenty-four hour news cycle.
My October calendar is nearly full. One Shakespeare play. One book group. One writing workshop. Two musical performances. A mindful walk in the woods with a talk on shinrin- yoku, Japanese “forest bathing.” Two movies. Two author lectures. Lunch with longtime friends. Two other lectures. A little over the top perhaps, but all good ways to nourish me during the season when the weather and darkness fails to do this. My husband will share most of these activities, and if the weather gets too dreary there’s always a cat, a couch and a fireplace.
Despite perhaps going overboard with one month’s schedule, I haven’t forgotten that small activities can be as rewarding as the large events. Today, we went to our favorite nursery. Walking through all shades of green and swaths of many colors (even cacti have colorful blooms) gave me an emotional boost and cost nothing.
October will be here tomorrow. I’m going to rest before heading to the starting gate.