The Fall

I have not really had much to say lately.  Nothing out of the ordinary has happened, no crazy stories, no one made me mad.  Work doesn’t suck.  All of my relationships are fine.  So I guess no news is good news.

Mostly, though, I think it is the weather.  It is finally starting to be fall, which I always have mixed feelings about.  Throughout my life, fall has always represented the end of summer.  No more camping, cookouts, or swimming.  No more greenery and long, warm days.  Just dying and coldness.  Fall also was a reminder of the fact that summer is really over, that the school year was just getting into full swing, and that, for the next 6 months or so, it was going to be cold.  And anyone who knows me knows how affected I am by the cold.  I mean, I am the kid who would wear sweatpants under my regular pants and about 5 t-shirts under a long sleeved thermal under a sweatshirt.  Clearly, the cold and I don’t get along.

However, I am starting to realize that with all the dislike that I had for fall, I have also always had a great sense of pleasure.  I have been learning from the people I work with that in traditional Chinese medicine, fall is the season of cleansing, of letting go.  And, while you may think that is just some touchy-feely new aged mumbo jumbo, I think it makes a lot of sense.   Even without making the connection between this idea and the natural world (for example, citing the fact that the trees ‘let go’ of their leaves, all of the fall harvest is ‘let go’ of by their respective plants, etc.), this is something that hits home for me because it is something I do.  I have always hated fall because it has always been a miserable time for me.  Not because the fall made me especially vulnerable to bad things happening or whatever, but because the fall seems to be when I deal with all of the drama and garbage that has been going on for almost the entire year.  For me, the spring brings with it a feeling of ecstasy.  Spring is about rekindling and renewing.  It is about starting new projects and redefining myself.  Summer is just a continuation of spring, just a little less hectic as I also associate it with relaxation.  I think most people do.  Summer is about hanging out and being with people you like to be around. About being care free and just enjoying yourself.  Fall, though, is reflection time.  Time to look back at the year, to deal with things.  Even from a physical level, the rest of the year is about doing doing doing.  During the spring, I am too concerned with being able to be outside again.  Summer, I am running, jumping, climbing trees.  Out all the time, camping, hiking, whatever.  Fall, though, makes this hard.  It gets dark earlier.  It gets cold.  More and more I am forced to spend a lot of time alone, which subsequently forces reflection.  And the winter?  Well, the winter is just the time spent waiting for spring.

This reflection, though, is what has given fall such a bad name for me.  In the past, I hated this.  Dealing with stuff that I did not want to deal with.  Over analyzing and thinking too deeply about things.  Not my cup of tea.  I know, I know–the kid who is planning to go for his Ph.D. in Philosophy doesn’t like analyzing and thinking deeply?  At that point in my life, I didn’t.  Or rather, I did not know how to deal with it.  As my past academic adviser would always say, that is the reason most people don’t like philosophy.  Because it is not easy.  I don’t just mean intellectually, but emotionally.  It makes you challenge ideas that you have had your entire life.  It makes you analyze everything, which doesn’t always make you the most popular person in your sphere of friends.  Sometimes, quite frankly, it sucks.  A lot.  This is why I hated the fall.  Or, rather, why I hated what the fall forced me to do.

But its okay–I’m all better now.

I have started to grasp how to deal with these things skillfully.  I can reflect without getting carried away and becoming miserable.  I can focus my attention where it needs to be focused and see things, to a greater and greater extent, ‘as they are’ as opposed to ‘how I want them to be.’  It has taken me a lot of time and practice, but I’m slowly getting there.

Plus, I really like cider and squash and pumpkin pie.

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~ by sisypheanfeat on 4 October, 2008.

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