Regardless of this disaster that is the worldwide pandemic and the atrocious state of both our healthcare and education systems, one fact remains:
Fall is on the horizon and that feels like something we can actually look forward to and that 2020 can’t take away.
Sure, the last several months have been some of the most stressful and uncertain times many of us we have ever experienced.
Job loss. A mental health crisis. Death. And, in case you were still unsure, COVID-19 is no joke.
I repeat, it is not a hoax.
However, even with all of that said, we can still embrace and delight in the fact that our most beloved seasonal transition is upon us and that feels good.
The thought of the crisp autumn air and a return to some semblance of a schedule, not sure what kind but something is near, and even while we navigate life during the ‘great unknown’ a feeling of excitement is starting to creep in and the anticipation of fall is one I’d like to lean into for a little while.
Everyone could use a dose of joyful anticipation right now, don’t you agree?
I found an online survey that shows most Americans love fall more than any other season (duh) and, as it turns out, there is good reason.
Did you ever wonder where the obsession for pumpkin flavored everything came from? Don’t worry. It really isn’t all about the pumpkins. Although, they definitely add to the feeling.
Dartmouth sociology professor, Kathryn Lively, explains that the reason so many are obsessed with fall is because we have been conditioned. It comes from timing of the school year’s beginning just before fall and, after 18 or so years, we are hardwired to look forward to this season.
They call these moments in time “temporal landmarks“.
Fall is a time for new beginnings and a fresh start. Back to school is when we might be setting off to try something different or perhaps study something new and exciting.
When we were kids, our mom would take us school supplies shopping at the end of summer. We lived for that trip. Shiny new binders and a fresh pencil case made us giddy with excitement over a new school year in the same way Pavlov’s dog would drool the moment he heard the bell ring.
Autumn means a schedule (or some semblance of one during a pandemic) and that schedule represents structure.
Fall is the time of year when we get back into our routine and start checking things off of our list.
We even think more clearly during fall.
But ultimately, the start of cooler weather represents a time of comfort. One where we seek solace in a cozy sweater or outside near a crackling fire with a Manhattan in hand.
We are human. We need to feel comfort. Especially, now more than ever, and that my friend, is why fall is something to look forward to.
I know one thing for sure.
There isn’t much we can control, not even the onset of fall.
However, we CAN seek comfort in the idea that fall is nearly here and in many ways it represents a transition period and an opportunity to seek cozy mindful well-being.
These are tough times and it often feels like there isn’t a whole lot to be excited about but I think that the onset of fall is worth anticipating.
It is part of who we are and the benefits of embracing the season are ever so gently intertwined in the experience.