By Allen Hamrick
What comes to mind when you think of fall? The season has varied through the passing of time. Generations have changed and so has the way of thinking and feeling. It began this year on Sept. 22, 2021 and will end on Dec. 21, 2021. Fall will come and go with little fanfare or festival. Technically, it is simply a three-month period which transfers nature’s power from the heat and mugginess of summer to the freezing temperatures of winter. Fall is an opportunity for humans to make their final preparations to survive snow being dumped on them. Daylight becomes shorter, the temperature becomes more bearable and air conditioners catch a break from their labors as heat pumps warm up in the bull pen. It is a time for the harvest moon. The harvest moon is when the full moon rises closest to the fall equinox; it rises around sunset for a few nights in a row which once allowed farmers the light to finish their harvest before the first bitter frosts killed everything out.
Farmers of old lived and harvested by it, but today, most rarely even notice the phenomenon. We keep our heads down as the angle of the moon’s orbit and the tilt of the earth line up at the right time which causes the moon to keep its jacket on for about 30 more minutes, before the tilt goes to full blown Autumn. The other moon that goes unnoticed is the Hunter’s moon that can show its face in either October or November and serves the same purpose for hunters. The moon is taken for granted these days but is a truly fascinating subject. Of course, we learned about all this in science class. Big deal, right? In reality, it is really cool to know and understand the process of seasons, but for those of us who are just wondering around the earth with our eyes open, autumn is a lot more.
Many people look forward to the fall season with much anticipation. It is different than other seasons in the respect that all our senses go into overload, especially sight, hearing, and taste. It is a signal that summer with its hot muggy temperatures and highspeed everyday life is beginning to change. Eventually the forests come alive with the most beautifully vivid display of oranges, reds, and yellows that, no matter who you are, you can’t keep from being drawn into its display. The air comes alive with the smell of wood smoke, and the ovens crank out the apple and pumpkin pies faster than we can eat them. There is something about fall that generates an evolution of change in the way we think and feel. It is the time for change from the speed of summer to the cold and often dark days of winter. It is a time when the holidays teach us to be thankful and to enjoy what we have, and our emotions kick into high gear as we migrate to the outdoors. Great piles of leaves are piled up just so they can be made into a fun romp for the kids who eagerly wait to jump in. Hoodies and sweaters are reborn as the chill begins to gnaw at your bones, and it feels good. Fall just feels better than the rest. It is a time we can be reborn in a manner of speaking; the air stimulates us as if our life begins anew at first frost. As soon as the leaves change, it is a free for all as to who gets the best photo to put on social media. When the leaves are at peak, a walk through the woods becomes an enlightened dream as we search for new meaning to a ton of questions that somehow can now be answered.
Fall brings along many other things like festivals, the smell of pumpkin spice, garden harvesting, football games, apple cider and deer hunting, to name a few. We lose weight just so we can eat at least three Thanksgiving meals in November or at least make sure no one goes away hungry. Fall is a symphony that lasts just a little while and then it is gone until the next year. So, in the time that fall is here, enjoy it and let its wonder heighten your senses. Let your sense of smell be overwhelmed. Smell is the one sense that is the most beneficial to memory, and fall is the best time for that. Live this fall season – breathe in the fresh crisp air, taste it and let your spirit be renewed. Welcome the change with open arms and get out and enjoy it before winter makes you go undercover.