Thoughts on Fall

Fall in Minnesota is not nearly as spectacular as on the east coast. Although it is still beautiful here, it simply doesn't boast as many oranges and reds as the trees bedecking my memories of New Jersey. However, I learned to appreciate something new this year: the colors AFTER the peak. People look forward to the peak, and once that is over they complain about how short its life and begin buckling down for winter. But they are missing something: afterwards there is a whole new beauty where the bright colors that boasted before settle into each other, a perfect blend... they become one. As I drive around (to work or wherever) I like observing the changing landscape and seeing how each piece of nature has its turn in the limelight and then settles back into the surrounding melding colors.

I love how nature has a secret way of always matching: each season is an outfit that goes together perfectly with its own hues and color pallet. Even when faced with the most change, nature still works together and is beautiful. There is something we can learn in this.

I love how winter (and the colder months, as it is already cold here and only the end of October) allow you to focus on the inside -- both in yourself and in your home. This is your chance to make your inside space come alive. Summer is like spring cleaning or airing out, letting yourself out to roam the world. It is also the time we like to bring the outside IN: open up the windows, put flowers on the table, eat from the garden. People are often depressed in winter because they don't get this easy access to life. But winter is OUR chance to bring light and life inside, it just isn't given to us. It takes work but in the end can almost be more fulfilling than the warm summer months. So next week when daylight savings time hits, don't look at it as a bad or depressing thing. Instead, see it is an excuse to get cozy (i love that word) and focus on the inside world.
(I think it was Karrin who first let me see darkness this way when we were walking across St. Olaf campus a few years ago and my friends and I were bemoaning the fact that it was so dark and cold... but Karrin loved it! So now I'm trying to think like her!)


  1. so very true! i like your thoughts. winter is a great time for get togethers and parties. i love the word cozy too. i can't really complain about the fall we've had seemed just right this year.

  2. Well put Carolyn!! Your words also harken back to the rhythm of the year at a Waldorf School. You may not remember, but much of the curriculum and the school year is modeled after nature and what is happening there. Winter is indeed a good time to work on the inside...home and heart....thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Yes, very Waldorfian I am I am! I wonder, would I think these things had I had a different elementary school experience? How much of who I am is founded in my childhood experiences and how much of it is uniquely Carolyn? Like everything in life, it is impossible to tell, and most likely a little of each.


Thanks for joining in the conversation!

Follow @ Instagram

Back to Top