FALL: Comfort amongst change

Fall is a season that’s the backdrop of many songs, movies, celebrations, and memories which we hold incredibly dear to us. So of course it deserves to be written about as well. Now that it’s made its annual visit into our lives of course I mulled over it as deeply as I could and tried to bring its cold crisp feeling to the surface.

When we talk about change, one word that is constantly mentioned is discomfort. Change is often described as something that is uncomfortable and at times agonizing. Yet there is something about the magic of the changing of seasons that feels more like greeting an old friend, one with whom you immediately fall into blissful harmony. A lovely reunion of hot coffee, pumpkin-flavored everything, cozy sweaters, misty mornings, comforting movies, and a cold that jolts you awake rather than making you dread it. The culture of fall is one that holds us quite tenderly despite its grim reality: leaves that die in a final splendor before they make way for the new, or the indecisive weather that can never quite decide its fate.

 Change dominates everything. Yet, as students hit their mid-semester slump, they have something around them that brings comfort. Students and teachers alike get into a familiar rhythm of school and work and begin shedding their own inhibitions. The excitement about the beginning of the school year slowly transforms into something a bit more steady as everyone walks their paths toward their classes. The cruelly funny range of outfits- from sweaters and jeans to shorts and tank tops are seen all around as the 70-degree temperature from the morning dissolves into a cool 50 degrees. The colors of leaves change every day as the ones from days past crunch beneath hurried feet. For the next few weeks, this small window of time becomes our source of comfort; every breath feels like a new season.

For many of us, fall is the perfect excuse to binge-watch Gilmore Girls, spend $6 on a pumpkin spice latte (don’t worry I saved up gift cards!), and light our favorite scented candles. Although it may seem cliche, perhaps it is for a reason, as it is truly one of the best ways to unwind after a long day, and has never failed to bring me comfort. In the season of change, all we want is to find refuge within our comforts. Of course who can forget the long-awaited joy of finally breaking out your favorite cold weather fits and diving right into fall fashion? As someone who prefers both comfort and style, the autumn chill is a blessing in disguise. 

 The midwest fall is something I have grown up with and also come to appreciate. After my family moved to Texas last year, the only season that loomed above us was a scorching summer. The autumn breeze is something I welcome wholeheartedly. Air so crisp and fresh, you can feel it clean your lungs. I love seeing the colors of the trees go from a subtle yellow to the deepest reds. There is truly no season that is quite so magnificent as this, a true feat of nature.

 I’m sure many of our Instagram feeds are filled with pictures of fall hotspots, such as Vermont and Colorado, filled with miles and miles of wild colorful beauty spreading out in every direction. Though this longing is hard to get away from, the UIowa campus is also one of the few campuses that is as beautiful as it is lively. This is the perfect time of year to take a stroll on the bridges on the Iowa River or sit on the outdoor terrace behind the IMU as you watch the leaves change and students stroll to class. One of my favorite things to do during this time is to put on my favorite mellow tracks in my headphones and romanticize my daily walk to class.

To me, fall represents beginnings, even more so than spring. It’s a season that both looks back at everything that has been, as well as forward to what’s coming. As life all around us prepares to shed the old, I believe that we do the same. Whether it’s getting together with your best friends for a cozy night in, or having a self-care night by yourself, fall represents a time to rest and recuperate as a cycle of seasons in our lives comes to a close. Fall is the pulse of wonder and mysticism that flows through our mundane routines, making them feel just a little bit more magical. A season of renewed hope, and a reminder that transformation can be both brazenly brutal and achingly soft. 

Featured photo credit: “fall” by eschipul is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

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