As I was going for a brisk walk along the banks of the Fraser River early yesterday morning, I felt a refreshing light rain falling against my arms, and a crisp northerly wind was blowing into my face and dislodging the cobwebs from my brain. Most importantly, the unmistakable smell of approaching autumn was in the air. I could feel the sensation of my personal energy cells slowly but surely gearing themselves up for the season ahead.
Later that afternoon, my sister-in-law telephoned me from Vancouver Island to remind me that she is coming over for our traditional Labour Day Weekend canning session. As if I needed to be reminded. This almost-twenty-year-old tradition has become one of the significant milestones of my year. Every year she arrives with the back of her Volvo station wagon loaded with boxes of dill cukes, herbs and seasonings, heads of garlic, tomatoes, onions, peppers, a bottle of her fabulous home-spiced Vodka, and secret recipes that are as jealously guarded as the Philosopher’s Stone. By the end of the weekend, we will have filled several score of mason jars with enough salsa and crunchy dill pickles to last both our families for a full year of feasting.
For me, fall has always been the most energizing of seasons. Winter is a time of slowly simmering pots of stew, and reading long books by the cozy light of the fireplace. Warm early spring days are a perfect excuse for skipping out of work. Summer, of course, is best experienced sitting on a picnic blanket covered with delicacies, or from a lazily swaying hammock, with a glass of lemonade or chilled white wine in hand. Unfortunately work has to go on during all of these seasons, but it doesn’t really belong. Projects and intense mental activity fell like unwanted distractions from the real business of living.
Autumn, though, is different. Autumn is a time when it actually feels good to bite off more than you can chew, to launch yourself into ambitious undertakings. It’s a time when the batteries of the body, mind and soul feel recharged, and hum with potential energy.
So, it’s with a sense of anticipation that I look forward to beginning some interesting new classes, and taking on an expanded and challenging new role at work. I may curse my ambition in a few months, but right now it feels like I can accomplish anything I set my mind and energies to.