Technically summer lasts until the equinox, but for most of us, student or no, the start of September marks the unofficial end of the season. Every September, like clockwork, people start trickling back into town from far-flung locales; internships end, and vacation and wedding season wind to a close. We have spread our wings and enjoyed the flight, but the start of fall marks a kind of reverse migration: a human flock returning home.
Many experience this as a loss: of the sun, of warm laziness, and of the feeling of free-wheeling possibility. In the autumn it can feel like our world is steadily starting to narrow to a smaller orbit: we take shorter walks, we spend our nights in more, and we stay closer to home. But fall also offers the possibility of closing our wings for a little while and focusing on re-establishing our roots. We have the opportunity and the impetus to turn our gaze away from the sky and inwards at ourselves and those closest to us. Without the temptations of summer, we can focus on our personal projects and passions; we can trade a neighbourhood block party for a cozy dinner with our closest friends. We have a chance to build up instead of spread out. We may lose the ease and expansiveness of summer, but we can chances for introspection and close connection.
When we trade our wings for roots, our world might narrow, but it deepens too. Let’s take this opportunity while we can.