Football, chili, and colors. The end of summer has passed and we are now heading into Autumn, my favorite season.
I love the cooler temperatures, football on television, and the beautiful display of colors on the way. Summer is fun, for a while, but when it breaks and Autumn comes rolling in, I can’t help but feel a bit better.
The sun shines a little differently. Birds and animals scurry about getting ready. The soft rustle of leaves when the wind blows soothes me. When nature begins its metamorphoses from the heat and humidity of Summer to the harsh frigid temperatures of Winter, the transition season of Autumn provides me with great hope.
I enjoy Fall festivals like the Apple Festival we have here in Murphysboro. We have an Art, Wine, and Blues Festival as well as the BBQ Championships. It seems like every little town around here has some type of festival to mark the season. There are haunted houses in October (though I enjoy horror stories, I tend to avoid these. I guess I’ve read too many or seen too many movies that these scare the crap out of me!) Before you know it, Thanksgiving will be here.
But what I’ve found that attracts me to Autumn more than anything else, more than the change in weather and seasonal festivals, is hope.
Falling leaves and pumpkins and hoodies remind me of school. They remind me of being in college. A time I remember vividly remembering how I walked across campus carrying a backpack that threatened to pull me down. It was a time of hope for the future. I was in college learning skills and acquiring knowledge that I expected to prepare me for a life in academia. I assumed I was on a path which led to teaching history. I had visions of my future with my girlfriend (now wife of 18 years!) and the life we’d lead together.
Now many years removed from college, that hope of a future isn’t quite what it used to be.
Once out of school, the hope I’d been looking forward to never materialized. No longer working in class towards a goal in front of me, I work. I don’t have a lofty goal waiting for me at the end of work. I don’t have this expectation that I will be done in a couple years able to forge ahead to what I’d been working towards. I’m there already. Now my goals are not filled with hope for a future as an educator, they are filled with a desire to provide the best I can for my family.
Every Autumn as the temperatures cool and the sun casts shadows much different than Summer, I’m reminded of this hope I once had. I’m reminded of a young me that went to school every day, tired and anxious, looking forward to a future I had envisioned. And that rejuvenates me.
Sure I’m not where I expected to be. My job is nothing like what I thought I’d be doing. But I enjoy it. I meet new people every day and I’m able to help them make events happen. My family life is way better than I could’ve ever expected and I’m thankful to my wife and son for that.
And as a Browns fan, every Autumn is a season of hope. Usually that euphoria is crushed but there is always hope in the beginning!
Welcome Autumn! It’s nice to see you again, I’ve been expecting you.