Seasonal Joy and Wonder

Reader Contribution by Heidi Hunt

A friend sent this quote to me today, attached to an email:

“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” —Groucho Marx

Sometimes what we need to know appears and it is up to us to recognize and accept it … or not.

I think that dealing with the changes of the seasons is similar. In the break room I hear people complaining that it is getting more rainy, cold, winter is coming. And while I admit to being especially fond of the perfect late spring day, I also am energized by the changes in the weather and especially the seasons.

Take a walk today, pay more attention to your senses than you normally do. Fall brings with it not only a brilliant visual transformation of the landscape, but a change in the feel and aroma of the air and the sounds that surround us. Remember being a child scuffing through the piles of leaves, crunching the brown dry ones on the sidewalk? As the cars sped by, the rows of dried leaves huddling by the curb would swoop up into the air and cover the street with a layer of yellow, orange, red and brown – until the next car came by swirling them back towards the curb. The dance of the leaves.

For me, it is the smell of autumn that enriches my seasonal experience – that earthy, moist smell of leaves and grasses becoming one with the earth – it is the smell of the absence of chlorophyll – the green stuff that signifies life. Woven among the smells of moist dirt and decaying leaves is the woodsy aroma of smoke – a few leaves burning, an early-in-the-season fire on the hearth.

And last, the wonderful thing about this seasonal affect is that just as you are getting accustomed to it – it all changes! After the moist earthy smell of autumn comes the cold metallic feel of winter – but that is a story for another day.