It’s the first week of September. This means pumpkins and fall leaves, apples and gusty autumn days. Pumpkin pies and caramel apples and sweaters and hats. Boots and jeans and flannels. Rainy days and clear nights and leaves the color of fire. These are a few of our favorite things.
While there are a lot of things we can’t do right now, not everything is cancelled. We can still go outside. We can take hikes through Mill Creek Park. We can go for scenic drives in the countryside. We can lie on our backs outside and look up at a clear sky full of stars. We’re still able to smell the crispness air gets as we tra
nsition from hot, sticky summer days to cool, clear autumnal ones. We can still have bonfires, with toasty, gooey marshmallows. We can still find our favorite pumpkin patch and lose ourselves in the beauty of the warm colors of fall.
Sometimes, the things of our childhood may be forgotten, but can still bring us joy. Things like scuffling our feet through crunchy, papery leaves, or feeling the soft warmness of socks on our toes, or pressing brightly colored leaves between the pages of a heavy book, cost us nothing but can still bring smiles to our faces. These are the things we must keep in mind when we find ourselves becoming bogged down by the utter dreariness of the world as we currently know it. A world full of things like politics, pandemics and social injustices. It’s not to say these troubling things are to be forgotten, for they must never be. But sometimes, we all just need a moment to step away from the sheer grownup-ness of the world and to look back at the things that used to, and still can, make us happy.
Maybe, this fall, we should challenge ourselves to try something new: fall crafts. Create a rustic, pumpkin-shaped sign to welcome your guests and remind them to sanitize before they visit. Carve a pumpkin, put a mask on it for an added chuckle. Take up knitting and make a sweater for your cat or your neighbor’s Chihuahua who barks at the slightest stirring of leaves.
Please, remember to wear your masks. Wash your hands. Stay at least six feet away from others. These small steps can help us get closer to the world we knew pre-pandemic, where we can watch our favorite football team in the stands and participate in our usual, autumnal campus events. And please, never forget we’re six feet apart, but together at heart.