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Soucheray: Settle in for those crisp, cool nights

By Kate Soucheray

Now this I really can't believe - the beginning of fall is only a little over a week away. How can this be? We have had such fluctuation in our weather, I almost don't know what season is coming! It's either been so hot, so dry or so cool that many aren't sure whether it is summer we are just completing. What happened to our old-fashioned four seasons that were predictable and provided a sense of normalcy and the natural order of things? Don't tell me they're gone or that things are changing because, I don't want to hear that!

I love the fall, and I know it is the favorite season of many people. The changing color of leaves; the Friday night football games; the crisp, clear air that feels so refreshing and clean; the shorter days and longer nights that signal it's time to begin hunkering down for the colder weather are all indications that things are shifting. And I like that. Most of us welcome the four seasons and was probably a factor of choosing to live in this northern climate. These crazy weather patterns have many of us confused, as well as a bit sad, to see that things are not as conventional as they used to be.

I remember living in a city that was small for its size but big in its disposition, and we had what many would say was an idyllic setting in which to grow up. On Friday nights in the fall, everyone from town attended the outdoor football games. The team was very good and provided lots of conversations throughout the following week, complete with predictions of state titles and grand champions. It was an older city, with lots of mature trees, which discarded their dry leaves for crunching as we went for a walk under a full moon and didn't worry about our safety.

Fall is a season to remind us that it's time to put the boat away, that we need to clean and pack up the tent and prepare the gardens for their winter slumber. It is a season of transition, and it is very necessary, especially in our busy culture. We need it to remind us that, in the midst of all our activities and fast pace of life, there is still something predictable that we can hold on to, reminding us of the cyclical nature of life. Without it, we may lose touch with what is most important to us and what we truly value in life. So plan a few fun and memorable things to do with your family and friends this fall so you can savor the season in the months ahead.

Soucheray is a Woodbury resident and a licensed family therapist