Got a favourite season? My friend Erin’s is autumn. She loves all things ‘fall’. When I spoke to her this week, she was in the midst of making a batch of raspberry jam. She smiles when talking about colourful leaves, crisp air, time in the garden, jam-making, s’mores by the fire, sweaters and a joy in the change of seasons. I’m glad she has a favourite season, but we already know, autumn has never been a favourite of mine…but this year could see something change and it has nothing to do with the colour of the leaves.
For only the second time in my entire life, I’m enjoying the weather in October. The first was over 2,000 days ago. We were ensconced on a tour of south western Africa, two months into a year of following the sun. Almost six years to the day, we were hiking canyons, climbing sand dunes, heading off on safari and hanging at watering holes waiting for the nightly arrival of our animal friends. The daily forecast was anti-malarial pills, sunscreen, bug spray, water, hats and cameras….the rest really didn’t matter, but one thing I never was, was cold.
A few weeks ago I went to New York to hang with the family- yup, somehow I forgot how my lungs react in October. Within 48 hours the scratchiness was in my throat, 72 hours and I was coughing and sneezing and within days there was minimal voice and sinuses that seemed to revolt every chance they got. Somehow I hoped it wouldn’t catch me in such a quick turnaround, but that seasonal change, fluctuating temperatures, virulent pollen and chilly air did me in once again. Years of university spent in Boston, Massachusetts saw the same. The leaf peeping was fabulous and the Head of the Charles Regatta was one of my most favourite fall events, but every October I picked up some sort of respiratory thing that was rarely gone before April. See….except for a month filled with glitter, homecomings, walks and float building…I never really liked October!
Now, for the second time in as long as I can remember, I’m enjoying the weather in October. The temperature fluctuates maximum five degrees (and that’s when the clouds pass by) and pollen is non-existent. My ‘summer’ outfits are still front and center, sunscreen is still optimal and my happy toes are still free to engage with the world of flip flops. It’s not for everyone, this one season thing, I know. Erin loves the change in the air, the aroma of autumn and even sees benefits in winter. For me, this temperate climate works. My lungs don’t find themselves in constant spasm, there’s no dress for the outside vs the inside and most of the days the sun makes an appearance.
For me, this October reminds me of the magic of travel and the ability to unleash ones spirit while continuing to explore outside in weather I find optimal. Not only do I agree with my favourite outdoor store’s decision to close on November’s Black Friday and pay their employees to #OptOutside…this time, I won’t be sitting inside wishing I could venture out in the weather…this time I’ll be able to embrace the same spirit and truly get outside to explore. Erin and I might be spending this autumn on two different coasts, but this time, each one of us will be able to fully enjoy Mother Nature’s gifts in a way that fills each of our souls completely.