Autumn, are we ready for you?

Whenever school rolls around my thoughts shift like the colors of the leaves do.
Each season brings with it it’s own tone, mood and feelings. Summer, for example, exemplifies happiness, play and abundance. The summer months sing of flowers in full bloom, nature at it’s peak and beach-filled afternoons.
Fall on the other hand takes a quieter approach. Nature is so busy during the summer months, always hyper-alert, always producing offspring be it through pollen or newborn babies. Yet, slowly but surely, autumn rolls in, hushing summer. Kindly, it says, ‘rest now my sister, I’ll take it from here. You must sleep.’
And so, nature starts to yawn. The trees give way to golds, reds and purples. The air cools and becomes crisper. The flowers retreat and become reserved, save for a select few, like chrysanthemums, that can’t bare to fall asleep just yet.
There is something to be said about this time of year. It shows, even in death, there is beauty. For as much as I love the summer, I love autumn too. The rich colors inspire something within me, a different sort of mood. I become reflective, thoughtful, wistful even. I look forward to all things apple, pumpkin and cinnamon related. I crave cuddly sweaters, steaming hot mugs of tea and scented pine cones. I look forward to picking apples, riding hay rides, wearing plaid and harvesting pumpkins with my family.
I think autumn brings about an innate instinct in humans we sometimes do not realize: an instinct to survive. It may sound odd at first, but hear me out. We see the world around us slowing down in autumn, going into hibernation. Everything in the natural world is telling us to stop, to listen, to slow down. Yet we persist on in our busy lives as if summer were still here, staring at glaring smartphone screens, rushing to work and blocking others out by blasting music on our iPods.
We want to stay awake, to beat nature, to survive.
I believe that is why so many people suffer from insomnia: they are not in tune with the seasons, with the natural rhythm of life. I’m sure this is not the only reason for insomnia but I do not doubt it is one.
Am I saying to go to sleep? To hibernate like a big bear? To collect nuts like squirrels do before the big frost?
I am saying, however, to let yourself slow down, however you see fit. What our bodies do not realize is that even if we were to slow down, just a bit here and there, we would still survive, if not thrive.
Take a few moments of your day to look out the window: do you see any leaves starting to turn red or yellow?  Take a moment to just sip your tea without scrolling mindlessly through Facebook.
Did anything bad happen? Did your world crash down and collapse because you took a breather and actively noticed your surroundings? I doubt it, and if they did, I apologize sincerely for the ill advice.
But for the 99% of you that are still alive after taking a moment to breath in your surroundings, don’t you feel better?
I know I do.

What are some of your favorite fall-themed activities? Share below in the comments! 

By Ariana Storniolo (Palmieri)

Ariana Storniolo is the founder of Greenify-Me, a blog dedicated to zero waste and sustainability. Her work has also been featured on Going Zero Waste, Green Matters, Mother Earth Living and several other online publications.

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