I recently saw a beautiful meme on Facebook. Fall colored leaves with the words, “the trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.” There are things I’ve always liked about the fall, but in that moment I saw a deeper useful beauty in it, and started to recognize in myself certain strengths that only the fall brings out in me.
You see, I’ve always thought of myself as a “summer” person. I love the sunshine, seemingly endless daylight, vacation, drinks by the pool, sparkly flip flops, pedicures, outdoor festivals. For my hedonistic heart, summer is my heyday. It’s my season of excess and indulgence. But I’ve started to see in myself that summer is not me at my best. When I think of me at my best, I often think of me in the fall.
After I’ve enjoyed and enjoyed and indulged and indulged, I wake up feeling fat and overfull. Fall is that time when I always get back to being me in balance. I’ve recovered from the dark winter, I’ve sunshined to my heart’s content. And then, I’m ready to let go of the indulgence and walk a different path. I get back into a good routine and start working a little harder. I start eating right, exercising more, and losing weight. I take up new hobbies and try new things. If summer is the time when I harness the sun’s energy, fall is the time when I use it to build strength and do better. On the surface, I start enjoying more savory flavors again and embracing a burning color palette. Moving toward the deeper and more meaningful. I start planning my favorite holidays, where I look forward to loving and connecting with people in a way that I don’t quite do any other time of the year. Like the trees, I start trying to gracefully let go of the things that are no longer serving me well through a powerful process. In that process, hoping to create a beautiful, colorful canvas.
It’s amazing what we can see when we gently let go of some of our hard wired notions of ourselves. I’m a ___ person. I only like ___. I never ___. By opening myself up to other versions of myself, allowing in other narratives, I’m growing a deeper appreciation for this time of year, and also seeing how each season of the year brings me certain aspects of my annual journey that are absolutely necessary, and very different from each other.
What things do you love about the fall, and about yourself at this time of year?