Create • Inspire • Journey
by Rachelle Eason
Can you smell that crisp cool air? See the dancing branches of trees excited about their colors changing? Hear the crunch of walking on fallen leaves along paths cooling from the months of hot sun searing them?
It feels like fall all around!
Well, except for here in Central Florida. The closest we are getting to fall is the release of Pumpkin Spice Lattes at our neighborhood Starbucks.
Growing up in Pittsburgh gave me wonderful fall adventures. I remember playing at Boyce Park, rolling down green hills splattered with color into huge piles of crisp leaves that were raked just for our enjoyment.
Steeler games in the fall were wonderful! They mixed cool temperatures with heated combat on the field and an invitation to start wearing Steeler sweatshirts while enjoying hot cocoa before the games turn frigid a couple of months later.
Living in NC gave us convenient excursions to scenic leaf changing filled mountains and apple orchard singing hayrides. We picked our own apples to make into pies and sauces, which we actually did as part of our life learning days of homeschooling. Our horses were happy for the fall breeze and the kids climbed the trees on our farm with a little more ease since the branches were beginning to thin.
As the children got older and life got busier, we got away from living in the moments nature presented us. Then we actually moved away from the gorgeous southern area of NC. For multiple personal and business reasons, we returned for our second spin at living in Central Florida.
There’s no fall going on here.
Now I miss it. We all miss it. We miss the seasons changing and the feel of that cool crisp air. We miss the fresh air smell of the foothills and mountains. We miss the sound of the huge trees swaying their branches with pride in the show they are putting on before they go dormant and settle for a winter’s nap.
Many people mark the beginning of a month as the day to begin changes. Calendar dates count down to events and count up in celebrations. For example, today marks 114 days until Christmas. (Time to shop!!!) But I feel seasons mark changes. Not restricted to specific starting and ending dates, seasons progress at their own rate, often overlapping each other with rocky transitions, much like in life.
Transitions in Life
We may not have a change of seasons going on, but change is definitely going on here in our household with a craving of more to come. I find myself contemplating transitions with a very different perspective then ever before.
As I am working through seasons of change, more of which I will share in the future, I find myself craving the natural environment of fall. It is a dilemma though. Living where there’s a magical season of fall means cold is to follow; temperatures I try to avoid at all costs. However, I am ready for the trade-off.
But right now, as we look forward to a year of changes ahead, marked by seasonal transitions, I am embracing fall as we can create it ourselves in Central Florida.
First off, I cooked! Now…that in itself is something my family is amazed about if not a bit scared! In the Instant Pot at this very moment is a vegan field roast slow cooking in apple cider accompanied by portobello mushrooms, red onions, and ambrosia apples. Delish!
I have been eco-staining journals with plant elements that make me think of fall. Sun flower petals, eucalyptus, and amber orange roses are providing pops of orange in my designs. Soon I’ll be using pomegranates and pumpkin slices, both of which turn golden yellow in my process.
As color runs in abundance where fall leaves put on their grandest shows, fall fruits present amazing texture and shapes when set against paper and boiled to release their essence. These eco-stains are how I started to “Fall” in love with the season again.
However, there are things that happen in the fall that detract from my enthusiasm for this time of year to roll around. Halloween drives me a bit crazy. I detest goriness and scary masks, things that bring lingering memories of being scared in a haunted house when I was little. The movie ads on TV, the gruesome billboards for scare nights at local theme parks, and the freaky costumes people post pictures of on social media, make me more than a bit uncomfortable.
So I immerse myself in nature during September and October more than any other time. Between unplugging, spending the day at less crowded beaches, and walking the galleries of local museums, I expose myself, and whoever comes along, to the alternative to pop culture’s celebration of a holiday that used to be about dressing up as a prince or wizard and visit neighbor’s homes for special treats.
During these excursions, I journal and take photos. The light is different, even in Florida, as we get into September and October. Tourist season is dwindling down at this time and snow birds have yet to arrive. Locally the Farmer’s Market reopens after taking off the dreadfully hot month of August and fall annuals are planted in spots where summer blossoms have been scorched. Its a great time to catch the beauty of Central Florida on camera.
I love seeking out these spots of fall to take time with my Easenza journal. My reflections circle round to personal transitions and the journey I am traveling. At times the journey seems as frightening as the impending hurricane season, threatening as much as Hurricane Irma did last fall.
So as I write through my tremendous goals covered with overwhelming confusion and a two-step dance between going backwards and moving forwards, I am remembering that in a season of transitions, I may fall.
I just hope I don’t spill my Pumpkin Spice Latte when I am getting up again.