Fall seems to me to be the most fleeting season. Maybe it’s from the falls I spend in Alaska. It’s a beautiful season, that doesn’t stick around long enough for my taste. Our dominant tree color is yellow – cottonwoods, birch and aspen.
If you’re lucky enough to hit the high country or visit the tundra, you’ll be treated to a carpet of oranges and reds. Termination dust settles on the mountains like powdered sugar, reminding you that winter is closing in.
On the Kenai Peninsula, fall brings windstorms. Leaf-clearing, branch-baring windstorms. When these hit, it seems like fall is here one day, then gone the next. The undergrowth starts to lose its luster, fading to muted tans. It doesn’t take long for winter to knock on the door. Bluebird days look so promising, until you step into the frigid air.
We also lose daylight quickly this time of year. I miss the midnight sun of our summer days. But I relish in catching sunsets, the unreal amount of stars you can see on a clear night and the first appearances of the aurora borealis.
I’m usually lucky enough to catch a second fall in the midwest. Even though I grew up in Virginia, fall in the Ozarks is the fall of my youth. The trees I grew up with – maples, oaks, hickorys, sweet gums and sassafras.
It doesn’t have quite the sense of urgency that fall in Alaska does. Maybe that’s a part of my fall nostalgia. It reminds me of my time in the Blue Ridge mountains as a young adult. A simpler time in my life, when it was easier to make time to do less.
So I use fall as a reminder. Slow down. Breathe. Enjoy the view. You have time.