Fall is in full swing here in the Midwest. The trees are beginning to turn, showing their gorgeous color, and the sun has been shining for the better part of a week. The air is crisp - it's the perfect weather for sleeping - and it's hard to believe there was ever a time that I hated this season.
My mother was not a fan of autumn. Sure, she appreciated the colors, but she told me on more than one occasion that fall, to her, signaled an ending. The earth was going to sleep and the beauty and life of spring and summer were, in a way, dying off for a time.
I think I adopted that feeling, which only got worse when I married a fella who hated winter so much it ruined his autumn, too. I spent years dreading this time of year, but as of last year I declared "no more". There is too much to enjoy.
Case in point, this photograph, which I took on the Fall Color 5K at Morton Arboretum on Sunday, October 2. The orange and gold are just starting to peek out; it's beautiful.
Life is far too short to waste it hating the environment you're in. And frankly, hating it is a choice. You can just as easily embrace it! And when you start doing that, you begin to find all sorts of things that make the season quite lovely ... even mundane tasks take on a bit of beauty.
Take, for example, my drive to work. It could be painful. It happens way too early - 7 a.m. on most days - and I'm rarely ready for it. But I always have a hot cup of coffee. I usually have a warm breakfast sandwich. And I always drive past the forest preserve. Today it was particularly beautiful. The elk were out in the pasture (yes, an elk pasture just happens to be on my route) and the leaves were crimson and eggplant and mustard and brick red and seriously, how can you not love that? Against a cloudless cerulean sky, it was immeasurably beautiful.
And I thought to myself, "Self, this may well be a perfect day." For you, too, I hope. Enjoy it.