Some folks love fall. I am not one of them. The season frankly puts me in a bad mood. Sure, you have some pretty colored leaves when the sun shines. But when you live in a northern land you feel every cool breeze and sense the approach of winter.
Winter in Wisconsin can be endured, even enjoyed. But it is a harsh time, all the more so if you have a long commute on dubious roads. Or if various battle scars from a half century and then some start to ache when the cold sinks into them.
Being in my later fifties perhaps puts me into Autumn in a larger sense also. (Whether I am in early or late autumn is a damned good question). Already there are things that I would have liked to have done that are now very improbable. At one point my son and I had preliminary plans to cross Russia on the Trans Siberian express. Heck, by the time you go that far it would make sense to just circumnavigate the globe. I had looked into travel by cargo ship across the Pacific, then a ferry to Vladivostok, then more adventures. But the trip did not happen and now is in the category of "it might have been".
Similarly I had hoped to see some of the fabulous Roman sites of North Africa and Syria. Most of this part of the world is currently off limits to the sane traveler and by the time the bandits are chased back into the hills and caves I may be too old for adventures.
So we dig in here, hunkering down ahead of the chill. I have my familiar, comfortable activities. I work. I teach. I paint and tinker and tidy our house which is also suffering the effects of middle age.
And we wait. Some of what lies ahead will of course be Wonders and Marvels. After all, there is always Spring, always new beginnings up ahead. But the timing is key. How long to keep working, how many years of retirement I need to finance, will our physical condition remain "early autumn" or will things suddenly freeze up and stop. Imponderables.
It is easier to be sunny and bright when the seductive warmth of spring time sinks into sore joints and jaded thoughts. Those days will come again.