September was my mother’s favorite month, not just because it was the month of her birth, but because it signaled the end of summer. Mom was never a big fan of summer. She hated the heat and in the early days she hated the field work of summer. And I suspect, growing up in California where school started in September, that she was relieved to get us out the door and back to our classrooms. By summer’s end my brothers and I were usually a grumpy bunch of kids.
Our fall seems to have taken forever to arrive, but that’s only because I have been impatient. In reality, this is the first Monday of the season and it finally feels like it. The mornings are darker, the air is cooler, the breeze is crisper. I even turned off the air conditioner for a while yesterday.
Fall weather increases my energy at a time when I need it for the garden and other chores. Lots to clean and plant and transplant before my least favorite season begins. And I’m one of those people who packs away summer clothes. I add more things to the pantry to cut down on winter shopping. I clean a little more until the cold and dark decreases my desire to do so.
This is the beginning of the bird migration and we are already seeing an increase in the birds at the feeders. I look forward to watching and photographing our many visitors. We are also planning a visit to Hagerman this coming weekend to see the changes in the population out there. I hope we can make the trek at least once a month from now until next summer.
Of course fall is the beginning of a sad season for many people. Since my mother died in late fall I understand that this is the time of year when the absence of loved ones is most strongly felt. The arrival of each holiday ahead is a reminder that there will be an empty chair at the table.
And some people have a condition that is triggered by loss of daylight and causes them to become somewhat depressed in the fall and much more so in the winter. We should be aware of these people in our lives and try to help them cope with their problem. Studies show that increased social support and light therapy (light boxes and increase in wattage of light bulbs) are effective in the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
I begin this fall with gratitude that at least for now my computer problems have been solved and I can once again enjoy taking pictures. But I should be smarter and anticipate that in the near future a new computer is probably going to be needed. Time to start saving my pennies! Okay, quarters…
Happy first Monday of Fall!