The summer is nearing an end, you can tell because the store shelves are filling up with Halloween essentials. The humid stifling summer air is being replaced by a cool breeze and the need for a sweater. Soon the flip flops will be put away in exchange for reliable boots and warm socks. Emerald trees against royal blue skies will give way to streets full of discarded leaves. The sidewalks will be flooded in puddles of reds, yellows, and oranges in varying degrees of decay that crunch beneath your feet as you walk through them.
Fall has always been my favorite of the seasons. It’s been scientifically proven that our olfactory senses come alive with the drop in temperature. The smell of sunscreen and barbecues will be replaced by the smell of wood stoves, decomposing vegetation, crab apples and pumpkin spice. I love everything about Fall. The only thing I hate is that it ends far too soon ushering a good five or six months of winter. My depression usually peaks during the winter months. The eastern Canadian winters are very unforgiving so I end up staying inside more, selectively hibernating while I pack on the winter 10-15 pounds. I consume Netflix and books to pass the days away until it’s bearable outside without having to wear several layers of clothing or being afraid of falling on ice and ending up as a viral video on all your friends’ Facebook feeds.
More than anything, I fear the impending isolation as it becomes increasingly difficult to get around. I fear being alone with my uptight depression brain seeping it’s seasonal negativity.
Summer Sam is so much more fun. She’s more upbeat. She takes more pride in her appearance, has more energy and doesn’t experience the intense pain the cold damp weather brings. She’s also a better dresser. When the cold weather approaches she packs away her cute tops, comfy capris, summer dresses and cute sandals in a big Rubbermaid bin, and essentially transforms into a winter ready, fluffy, fleecy fashion crime. It’s true. In exchange for feeling like a lady, I get to revisit infancy in my warm genderless onesies. Instead of showing off my fresh pedicures in a sassy sandal, I’m rocking high wool socks and my unisex, weather appropriate boots. Fashion no longer matters to me as I simply try to stay warm, dry and comfortable. I have no shame in taking my dog out to pee in my neighborhood wearing Christmas fleece jammies and a bitchy resting face come February.
Looking back, this was actually a pretty decent summer. I got outside a lot, even got a tan for the first time in years even if no one else can tell besides me. I swam. I got to swim in the ocean, a lake and a pool. I took a boat ride. I reconnected with my old bestie. We’ve been friends since the eighth grade and I never would have survived my teen years with my family without her. My sister from another mister. We reminisced about old times and shared some new ones as well. I re launched my blog with a brand new name letting go of my old pen name and some of the ghosts that went with it. I enjoyed sunny days with my love (“C”) as we walked around our neighborhood examining historic buildings that we previously missed. We picnicked in the park with hamburgers and far too many pigeons for her liking. (personally, I love pigeons so I’d throw bits of food to attract them in hordes as “C” squealed in terror running away while I laughed). We laughed a lot. We loved a lot. We took walks down the boardwalk with my miniature dachshund, Lucy, to people watch or watch the boats pull into port. We got to visit and spend time with her family, my new family, who are some of the nicest people and best cooks you’d ever meet. To finish off the summer, my city, Saint John, New Brunswick, is hosting the “Fundy Fan Fest”. This is where artists, actors, filmmakers, get together for the fans. I am a nerd. I’m a Whovian (Doctor Who fanatic) and a lifelong Trekkie so this is my jam. I couldn’t afford to attend much but I did end up visiting “Midnight” a.k.a the Impala from TV’s Supernatural. I got to touch it.
This past Saturday night, “C” and I attended a live podcast performance of Jay and Silent Bob Get Old with Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes. After the show, I got to meet Kevin Smith and give him a hug. It was such a great moment for me. I’ve admired his work since Mallrats and he remains as one of my all time favorite filmmakers. It really was the pinnacle of my summer. The blessings of a good summer will give me something to smile about on my sad pain days as the days grow colder and darker.
The battle for me lies in staying positive and active with my writing during the depressing winter months. I tend to slip into self doubt, like most people would slip into sweatpants. I need to resist that. I need to resist that voice in the back of my mind that constantly tells me I’m not good enough. I need to write daily even if I’m not happy with it. I need to be as consistent in my writing as I am in fighting depression.
It’s a mixed bag of feelings as I grieve the loss of summer, and the warmth, welcome the Fall, while, fearing the winter…
Live Humbly, Be Charitable, Live Graciously,
Image – Fall- courtesy of Pixabay User Valiunic/Coffee