Thursday, September 10, 2015

The End of a Season

I am complaining about summer coming to an end at every turn. On the other hand, I am so sick and tired of tending our ever-growing lawn. I seem to be failing to recognize the benefits of the end of the growing season, the end of the longer days and the end of the relentless heat.

It is time to shift my focus!

It had been one week and three days since we last mowed the lawn. We tackled that job last night. "That job" may have resulted in the biggest argument my Youngest Son and I have ever had, Ever. So the fact that if we just have to mow the lawn every ten days now that the growing season is behind us, may just salvage our relationship. We can do this two or three more times. I think.

I no longer have to slather sunscreen on the kids, worry about over heating and find ways to cool down when we go outside. We are in the middle of everything I love about fall. We don't have to dress in full winter regalia, nor do we have to obsess about the sun. We can head outside in the time it takes to put on our shoes and grab a light jacket.

It is the time of year when we don't need the air conditioning, nor do we need the furnace. I cheated. One morning I turned on the furnace to take the chill out of the air. Once the indoor temperature was regulated, I ceremoniously switched the thermostat to the "off" position. We shall hover in no-furnace-land for as long as we can.

Fall is so much cleaner than spring, with all the benefits that the moderate temperatures bring. We aren't waiting for the snow to melt and puddles to dry. We are simply cheering our farmers on and hoping our weather stays dry enough for them to harvest their crops and finish what needs to be done before winter sets in.

With fall, comes the shortening of days and the knowledge that winter is on the horizon. Spring may be messy but the longer days and knowledge that we have two more seasons of mild weather and sunshine helps ease the pain of all of the mud and mess.

I can't seem to come up with an advantage of the shorter days. The lack of sunlight messes with my coping skills. I want to sleep all of the time and shorten my work days to reflect the amount of daylight hours we have.

Other than moving to Australia, I just can't think of a way to combat the sun's lacking.

The best winters I can think of are winters when I was immersed in a project "bigger than myself". Book projects, taking a course, dancing or pursuing anything I felt passionate about.

It is time to shift my focus. I need to look inward. I need to pursue something that comes from the heart.

I don't know what that is yet, but I know where to start looking.

Fall is a time to look inside of yourself and see what seeds you can plant during the long, cold days. Plant those seeds in a greenhouse, turn on the "grow lights", soak up whatever sun you can find, wherever you can find it.

Two days in the heat of the Las Vegas sun in the depth of our winter last February gave me some insight as to why some people "fly south" for the winter. Oh, to be able to migrate like the birds...

I think I shall try to adapt the habits of a chickadee, a hardy little bird that weathers the cold Canadian winter up north.

They weather the cold in individual cavities they have excavated in rotten wood. They collect and hide their stash of seeds in thousands of spots (they actually remember where they store their valuables).

"Every autumn Black-capped Chickadees allow brain neurons containing old information to die, replacing them with new neurons so they can adapt to changes in their social flocks and environment even with their tiny brains."

As cute and as hardy and resourceful as those little chickadees are, I think shedding old brain neurons and replacing them with new neurons which allow them to adapt to the ever changing world around them is a trait I would like incorporate into my winter persona.

Maybe when I'm culling through the excesses within this material world I live in, I will try to shed some old thoughts and beliefs to make room for the new and ever changing world.

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