Pardon this barely [pumpkin] spicy take, but if we were still a mostly agrarian society, it would make plenty of sense that people are transitioning into “Fall Mode.” Let people have their pumpkin spice or keep enjoying their margaritas on the deck in peace. I won’t even go into the “let people live their lives as long as they aren’t hurting anyone” discussion today.

Especially in areas that have all four seasons, this is the time of year that major growing season is slowly ending. People are canning, preserving, drying, harvesting stuff that grew all summer. By the end of September, full harvesting is underway.

One of the interesting things I find in this debate is that so many people want to see (let’s face it, everything) things in exclusively black and white. A wise person knows that very little in this world is black and white, in fact most everything is simply just shades of gray. So is the change of season.

In Pennsylvania, we are still in “Hell’s Front Porch,” if I had to describe our current weather. Especially as the climate crisis rages on, the likelihood that we will bounce around quite a bit now, with greater temperature swings, is highly likely.

I don’t find it strange all that, even for people who are not farmers, that the urge to begin to transition to the next phase of the year is compelling. I know that I am friends with an extraordinary amount of people who grapple with seasonal affective disorder. Is it strange that someone who struggles to even want to exist every dark, cold winter would want to dip their toes into the most enjoyable parts of the upcoming seasons? This is an excellent time to start considering how to approach the winter. Decide if you want to read more, wear your favorite sweaters more, start therapy, start journaling, drink more tea, light more candles, exercise more.

Sure, we can blame a lot of this hyper fixation with rushing to the next season on capitalism. I think it ultimately does more good than harm, for a change. The idea that I can mentally prepare myself for the long cold winter months, get myself into a good mindset to thrive through the winter, and still enjoy the remainder of the summer, sipping on an iced pumpkin spice latte while it’s still hot enough to go swimming, is satisfying.

It means that there is enough time.

There’s enough time to lean into the end of summer. Maybe do some things you promised yourself you would and never got around to. Go swimming one more time. Have one more barbecue. Start taking those walks.

But more than that, it means that there is still time to *live* before it gets bone chillingly cold, where your joints hurt, you have to wear 18 layers of clothes and are still cold, the threat of snow closing schools is imminent. There is still time. There’s even time before you can wear your Uggs and sweaters and cute influencer hats.

I personally vote that we embrace this transitional time. This almost-liminal space between the end of summer, kids going back to school, and the entrance of true, chilly fall. I might add some pumpkin spice creamer to a cup of coffee in the morning, but I’m still trying to make the most of these sweaty (miserably hot) remaining days.

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