Today was the first day of Fall… Not literally, that happened about a week ago, but today was the first day where the air was cool and a Fall breeze was stealing the leaves from the tree. The sun still baked the already yellow grass, but its rays seemed a little weaker today. The transitional period between Summer and Fall is probably my most favorite time of year because of the beauty that is present at all stages of the transition. The red leaves that begin to sprout up among the verdant foliage are the first reminder that the lackadaisical days of Summer don’t last forever. The dark vibrant red color of those first leaves almost suggests that the trees know that it’s time to go and they’ve going out with a flourish.
Huntingdon is currently amid this first stage. The trees that cover the hills around campus are still covered in leaves but if you walk up into the forest around the Peace Chapel you begin to see Fall showing through. As the wind blows through the trees it almost smells sweet as it carries on it the smell of decaying leaves and the promise of apple cider and candy.
The realization that summer had officially ended struck me on my run today. I was up in the Highlands, a neighborhood just north of the college. It was hot, but a cool breeze kept me comfortable as I ate up the miles. As the scents carried on the breeze reached my nose I didn’t feel happiness or the giddiness of a child that anticipates Halloween, I merely felt content. In today’s political climate, a lot can be said for being content. The past few days and months I, and everyone else in the possession of a social media account, have been bombarded with strong statements about this and that and how we should think and what we should believe in. As a nation, and a global society, we are cajoled into not being content. We are constantly asked to question the actions of our leaders and our family members and our friends. It is exhausting.
As I ran through the town I have come to call home over the past four years, I began to truly realize how nice it is to disconnect from social media, even from other people around you, and just go off and appreciate the little things going on. Go for a walk through the woods and check out the forest as its beauty goes from verdant to stark. Go for a run or for a bike ride or, if you are more inclined find a good book and two trees and read in your hammock. I am also a big supporter of hammock naps. Like me, you may find that disconnecting leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to face your issues with a renewed vigor.
I’m not sure what my overall purpose for this post is and I don’t think dwelling on it for any longer than I have will make it any clearer to me. If this blog does nothing else, I hope it makes you think about the way in which society approaches large scale issues. We get so lost in the dialogue and the need to prove ourselves right that we lose sight of what we were arguing for in the first place and the discussion stagnates. Taking a step back and observing the discourse from afar allows for perspective and, hopefully when you rejoin the conversation you can help to move it to a healthier and more productive place.