Its already Halloween. I can’t believe it. Seems like yesterday we were still sweating under the oppression of peak hurricane season, air conditioners blasting. Today our houses are open, the air lighter, a little cooler, and a whole lot more enjoyable. The clear searing blue sky of autumn has made its debut, soon to fade to the grey of winter, but hell, that impermanence is what makes such a sky so beautiful in the first place. It just all seems so fast, so sudden. I’m told this is what happens as you get older, that time, at least in hindsight, accelerates. I suppose I am still young enough that the future still seems impossibly distant, but the past is certainly becoming closer and more familiar. We’re not talking plain nostalgia here, either, nostalgia is a filter which sweetens the perspective of the past. We’re talking about appreciation and being mindful of the present, and being mindful of how your presence in the present shapes your perception of the past.
In case it isn’t obvious, the stretch of pleasant weather October to November is my favorite time of year. I actually spend the rest of the year pining for these sacred months. But once they arrive I find they slip away all too quickly, that I don’t give them the appreciation I feel they deserve. These are magical months of perfect weather, of rediscovering the outdoors after hiding away in the air conditioning. This is porch weather, drinking weather, friends weather, sports weather. So much meaning and eventfulness is packed in to this season, perhaps that is why it seems to pass so quickly. But I don’t think so. I think it goes back to the impossible distance of the future vs the almost painful proximity of the past. See, yesterday is fresh in memory, its triumphs and mistakes, omissions and lessons still ringing, actively (hopefully) creating the context for today. Yesterday can be analyzed and appreciated, while tomorrow, the same number of hours away from today, is still totally unknown. So naturally that is where we put all of our hopes and fears: tomorrow, where they are unconstrained by the reality of what happens. So the future never happens, it remains distant forever, never to be experienced. We live a life of todays and yesterdays.
The most difficult part of enjoying oneself, whether it be during fall or during the weekend or during any pleasurable time, is stepping far enough outside of the moment to identify it as a potential yesterday. The now will never live up to your vision of the future, but it can make for a pleasant past. The trick is framing it in that way. The trick is to build a past you would enjoy without the benefit of the filters of nostalgia, and you do that moment by moment in the present, by building memories worth feeling so terribly close to.
So enjoy your fall, make it a yearly part of your future, so you can have the awareness to keep its memories precious in your past.