Today is the first day of fall for 2015, and I could not be more excited. Fall comes every year and unlike most seasonal changes always seems to not stay around quite as long as we’d like. This begs the question, what makes fall, especially Northwest Indiana fall so appealing? What makes us long for this brief period between the hot summers and cold winters?
When I think about fall time in Northwest Indiana, one of the first thing that comes to mind are the changing leaves and brisk weather. This isn’t a byproduct of fall exclusive to Northwest Indiana but the bright new colors and cool but not too cold weather brings about the feeling of refreshing change. The heat and humidity a memory of yesterday as the cool air and crisp crunch of falling leaves looks, sounds and feels like the old sticky layer being pulled away with a fresh new take waiting underneath.
I also think of this period as people doing outdoor things before the cold and dreary winter sets in. NWI is home to some long cold stretches, and when combined with the morbid backdrop of grey skies and dead trees, going outside isn’t a particularly pleasant nor engaging experience.
For me, fall is that last hurrah. That last chance to enjoy nature before the dead of winter sets in. It combines just enough of pleasant “let’s go outside and do something” weather before it becomes too cold. It features plenty of festivals and two major holidays within its short time span. School is back in session and Friday nights are dotted with football games and pumpkin patch visits. It's trips to the apple orchard during the day and sipping hot cider during the evening. It's Halloween parties and horror movie marathons. Fall is the time for fun.
At this point, I’m preaching to the choir and repeating what has been said through countless Facebook posts but I can’t deny that feeling that fall brings. That little palate cleanser before the next major seasonal change. You never hear anyone complain about raking leaves with the same negative connotations that shoveling snow brings. You never hear people complain about the slight chill the same way you hear about sunburn or sweat.
So even though it’s short I’m going to enjoy the fall. Quantity does not always equal quality and despite its shortness, I’m going to party it up and enjoy this last hurrah before the winter. It’s the simple things in life, and if the simple act of walking around outdoors can fill me with this much happiness and introspection, it must be pretty special.