Suddenly Fall is Here

Each season has a critical moment. That split second snap when you realize that the seasons have changed. It's a different moment for everyone, but we all experience it at some point.

Perhaps for you it's noticing the first buds on trees in Spring, or the first flurries signalling the coming cold. Anyone can look at a calendar and see that Fall starts on September 21st or hear on the news that "Summer begins officially at 5:37:04 a.m. today". None of that matters. Change isn't real until each of us has that jarring realization that something is suddenly different.

For me, Fall started yesterday at 6:13 p.m. I was walking the dog and had just turned the last corner towards home. The sun was hurrying behind a row of houses so as to be on-time for its 7:06 p.m. appointment with sunset. The air was crisp and dry, the sky a perfect blue gradient and the leaves a muted hue of green. That peculiar green colour that signals an impending change to the fiery colours we associate with Fall. That green sparked my conscious realization that Fall had arrived.

Our brains fill in things that we already know. That is why the green colour of the leaves signalled Fall for me. I'd been used to leaves being green for months, just like we get used to trees being bare during winter and until I noticed, they hadn't yet changed. That's the power of conscious awareness.

Life is a lot like this. We get used to 'The Way It Has Always Been', our brains colour things in and we go ahead and ignore. Suddenly, we notice that reality doesn't quite match the old drawing in our minds and it's shocking.

This built-in behaviour is obviously a type of filtering system, since it would be overwhelming to be constantly aware of every single detail around us at all times. The sensory equivalent of drinking from a fire-hose. There would be no focus, nothing would get done.

Focus moves us forward. So imagine using a fraction of our focus to check on the details around us. Perhaps those moments of change wouldn't be so disturbing. Conscious awareness is the best way to handle change. Change is inevitable in everything, so the better we deal with shifts around us, the stronger we are.

Make sure you stop and check the colour of the leaves around you once and a while.