The summer between first and second grade was magical. My family made the trek from Yonkers, New York to Flushing, New York one brilliant July Saturday to explore the New York World's Fair. We and thousands of other families snapped several configurations of family photos in front of the Unisphere. I wore a sundress, anklets and saddle shoes, while my dad wore plaid shorts, a short-sleeved mock turtleneck shirt and horn-rimmed sun glasses. In the picture, I looked fabulously uncomfortable, as did my older sister. We could have won the prize for the best Awkward Family Photos of the World's Fair.
But despite all the World's Fair fun, by August I was ready for pencil cases, notebooks and scary Sr. Patrick Ann. I've always loved Autumn, all the brilliant colors of the Hudson Valley as trees prepared for Winter, sweaters, crisp air, and the structure and regularity of my days.
I still appreciate Autumn for many of the same reasons. I am comforted as we all return to our regular routines: kids go back to school; parents settle into regular work patterns after well-deserved vacations. It feels familiar and comfortable, less like I have my underwear on backwards. Less uncertainty than the playing out of Summer days as a child. Would my neighborhood friends be home today? If so, would we play Red Light Green Light, Spud, and Simon Says in the driveway and front yards of our attached houses until sunset at 9:45 pm?
As we prepare for the Autumnal Equinox on September 23rd -- the one of two days a year when the amount of light and darkness are equal as the Sun crosses the Earth's equator heading southward -- consider recommitting to the gratification of a yoga practice. Refocus your attention on growth, evolution and expansion as Summer contracts into Autumn.
Oh, it's a long, long while from May to December But the days grow short when you reach September When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame One hasn't got time for the waiting game
Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few September, November And these few precious days I'll spend with you These precious days I'll spend with you