Stress of the season
Sept. 28, 2018
by Ivan Raconteur

Autumn is a glorious time of year, but it stresses me out.

The weather can be beautiful, and walking in the woods as the seasons change is better than strolling through an art gallery.

Even walking on local trails can be a memorable experience. Not only are the colors remarkable, but the sounds and aromas add to the experience.

The fragrance and rustle of dry leaves, the calls of migrating birds, and the sounds of forest creatures scurrying to prepare for winter are all part of the season.

It’s that scurrying part that stresses me out.

It starts when the Department of Natural Resources posts its annual fall color finder.

Looking at that map of the state is another reminder that our days are numbered.

It is a visual representation that shows it won’t be long before the autumn winds blow the leaves from the trees.

The grass and other plants will go from vibrant green to dormant gold and brown.

After that, it’s just a matter of time before the outside world turns cold and inhospitable.

This is all part of the natural cycle, but it seems to me the cycle moves a lot faster heading toward winter than it does heading out of winter.

I accept that winter is going to arrive, but I’m in no hurry for that to happen.

I’m not ready to wear a coat and gloves every day.

I don’t want to hack ice off my car every morning before I go to work, freeze my digits every time I leave the house, drive on icy roads or shovel snow.

With autumn in the air, I am constantly reminded of what is coming, and I don’t like it.

In contrast, I never stress about the arrival of spring.

I may complain about its tardiness, but I don’t fear its coming.

Spring is a happy time filled with the excitement of new life and new possibilities.

That’s a long way off now, though.

It seems like summer just started, yet my calendar says we are halfway through September already.

The annual cycle is like one of those roller coasters in the amusement parks. The march toward spring is an excruciatingly slow uphill climb. Then, one day, spring arrives, and we find ourselves hurtling downhill at breakneck speed, with the weeks of pleasant weather flashing past in a blur.

That’s why I am stressed out by the autumn. I want to hang on to it as long as I can, and savor every delicious moment, but I can feel it slipping away.

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