No, I didn’t forget to type the -ing. I have a fear of fall; some would call this an unreasonable fear but to me it makes total sense. Consider the following facts:
1. Fall is the time of waning light. Common sense tells me that the light has been steadily waning since the summer solstice but one really starts to notice in the fall. I need light in order to thrive; this is the season where I know I’m in for a looooong, cold, period of darkness. Where I live, the sun doesn’t bother shining much in winter anyway, so why hang around after 5 pm?
2. Leaves fall off the trees. I know they are pretty but half the time the wind blows so hard they get torn from the trees before they change colour. Dry, crumbly leaves don’t make me sad; supple green ones gone before their time do.
3. Colder weather. As with light, I need warmth to thrive. Canada laughs in my face, starting around the middle of October. I must have been a plant in a former life – a delicate, tropical plant needing much heat and humidity. And, long days.
4. Ho…ho…holidays. I can’t even type the word without stuttering in fear. Even now, at the end of October, I can feel my shoulders tighten and my jaws begin to clench.
5. With back to school equals a disastrous mess in my house. I know that the position of the Earth and Mother Nature have nothing to do with this one but the minute the kids go back, the amount of clutter increases in my house a thousand fold. In addition to piles of backpacks, papers, and assorted other things a mountain of winter boots and coats grows as the weather chills and before long, you’ve got the aforementioned disastrous mess.
If I were to seek professional assistance for my fear of Fall, perhaps the professional might say something helpful like, “Get one of those nifty light boxes!” or “tell the children to organize their stuff” or “Try to embrace the cold like Canadians do – take up skiing! Skating! Tobogganing! Ice fi-” At this point I would find something heavy to throw at the therapist and walk out…
And, there’s more! With all of the above come our children’s birthdays (mind you, I love them but why oh why didn’t we plan their conception a bit better?) PLUS a full two months of holiday shopping, parties, entertaining, frantic cleaning of above mentioned disastrous mess before entertaining, did I mention shopping? And, the parties?
I’m a hermit. I don’t like parties and I don’t like entertaining. I’m one of the few women on earth who really hates shopping of any sort. My idea of a good time is one or two people over for a nice, quiet dinner with good food and good wine. I practically break out in a rash at the thought of holiday parties, especially if I’m the hostess. My husband loves entertaining and views shopping last minute at Christmas as a thrilling challenge.
It is the end of October. The November and December calendars loom large on my desk. I keep trying to hide from the inevitable reality that Fall leads to Winter and all of its attendant scariness. As usual, there is no escape. With the ever-encroaching darkness, my mood matches.
Solution? Since I’ve not won the lottery (yet), I can’t flee for warmer climes. I must find a way to make the best of it as opposed to making the lives of my loved ones miserable for the next few months. This weekend, I will try to hatch a plan. Will it involve organization? Probably. Will it involve everyone’s cooperation? Most certainly. Will it involve prescription medication? Undoubtedly.
Reality calls. I must go. There’s a pumpkin to be bought, costumes to assemble, and a dish to prepare for the first of the season’s parties…before I go downstairs in my fuzzy slippers, I will put my head back and dream of summer – a time of long warm days when night isn’t in such a hurry to overtake the light.