Colors of Fall

For some fall is about buying a new backpack or lunchbox, sharpening those pencils and sending your children back to school. For others fall is symbolized with tailgating and crowding into stands to cheer on your favorite football team.

While the pools have closed, fall sports have begun and school has been back in session for a few weeks now, fall did not in fact officially begin until yesterday, September 23rd.

So what does it mean the first official day of fall? Well it’s more than the beginning of a new season. It is the autumnal equinox. Equinox derives from Latin’s aquaeus meaning equal and nox meaning night, and is appropriate since this is the time of year when night and day are almost equal in length. This happens twice a year, once in the spring (March 21-22) and again in the fall (September 22-23), when the earth’s tilt is neither toward nor away from the sun.

The autumnal equinox has always been a time to mark change as we move from summer’s bounty to the colder, darker days ahead. Throughout the world and throughout history festivals have been held to celebrate the bounty of the harvest.While many people mourn summer’s passing, I always look forward to fall. It is probably my favorite time of year. I plant pansies and chrysanthemums, put out my scarecrow and some pumpkins. My family picks apples and enjoys exploring a local farm’s wagon rides and Maize Maze. We take walks in the woods, soaking up the reds, yellows and oranges that blaze festively from every tree, and go kayaking. I love the low hanging fog over the river in my backyard, the honk of geese and nothing says fall to me like the smell of a fire.

With the cooler temperatures I also feel revitalized, ready to get back into a more regimented routine and undertake those tough projects that may have been set aside while my kids were out of school. This year I’m tackling a historical that I set aside back in May.

So what about you? Is there a special way you and your family mark the changing of the seasons? And do you find you are more productive during the cooler months or the warmer part of the year?