“And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.”
― Oscar Wilde
Today we got our first real taste of fall. Days up until now have been sunny, with summer-like temperatures, and no rain in sight. This morning, that all changed: cloudy, gray skies, high winds, and temps cool enough to make the furnace kick on greeted us as we awoke.
I often find it hard to embrace fall until the weather truly changes. It’s hard to decorate with autumnal tones when it seems summer is still lingering about. Certain rituals do get me in the mood for fall, however. One of those annual traditions is a trip to a nearby pumpkin patch.
These outings provide a much-needed change of scenery–just 25 minutes south of where I live, this farm complete with pumpkins, gourds, and even a corn maze, offers acres of space in which to wander. This year especially, it’s a perfect space to get out of the house and remain socially distanced from other folks.
Some years I’ve battled the muddy ground as I picked my way through the pumpkins. This year, the lack of rain was sorely evident in the dry, cracked soil and the withering vines. Even so, there were pumpkins as far as the eye could see, and the expanse was a good motivation for getting extra steps.
It’s funny how something as simple as a pumpkin patch and its brightly colored offerings can lift spirits. Nature, of course, is an expert in drawing us out of ourselves and into the wonder of discovery.
This trip, I even remembered to bring along one of my Polaroid cameras, and it was a joy to come home with a couple of tangible mementos in hand.
Of course, several pumpkins and gourds made their way into the wagon I was pulling through the field, and now brighten my front porch. The pops of color are certainly welcome as the summer light fades into autumn and the colors all around me are shifting.
It’s nice to have some simple pleasures to hold onto when so many of our normal routines have been upended. What are you doing right now to brighten your days and spark joy?