by Dave Markwell

I hate the end of summer. I am never ready for it to end. This has been a weird week. It seems as though summer is finished and I never had a chance to say “goodbye”. It just left me. I needed some closure and got none. While I will hold out hope for a few more summer-ish days, I will not hold my breath. I know better. This ain’t my first rodeo.

In times like these, two equally natural responses occur for me. The first one is to become annoyed and petulant and try to fight it. The second is just to sit back and take it. I can’t change it, so I might as well accept it.

As I returned home from work this evening, the sun was setting across the water and a light breeze rustled the yellowing leaves on my cherry tree. In this breeze, I smelled fall. I smelled peace and transition and my youth. I smelled the mellow change of the season and I remembered that I like fall.

While I am always a “summer guy”, I like the wind-down that autumn allows. I like cool mornings and fog on the water. I like blowing leaves and not having to pick weeds in my flower beds. Fall is a season of reflection. In the shorter days and chilly nights, autumn brings us inside; inside of our homes and inside of ourselves. Nature gives us permission to grab a blanket and sit on the couch with a warm drink and feel ok about it. In these moments, the hard edges of life soften. The busy world slows and we can remember the things that are important to remember.

My wife and daughter are leaving in the morning for a week-long trip to New York. In a last gasp, last chance effort to scrape the last good bits of summer from the bottom of the pan, my son and I were planning on heading to eastern Washington. However, as “the best laid plans of mice and men oft go awry”, our plans have gone awry. The weather is going to suck over there, too. It seems I cannot get a break.

Well, as I sit in a chair next to a slightly cracked window, in the soft breeze I can still smell fall. Summer may be over and I am not unhappy with it. Response phase two is kicking in solid.

I have heat and food and hope. I refuse to bitch about the weather. My son and I will hang out, maybe go see a movie or buy him some new socks. We can do whatever we want. The world is ours and without any pushy and loud nine year-old female disruptions distracting us from our time together, we will savor it. We may do much and we may do nothing. It doesn’t really matter. It’s our time.

And if the sky darkens and the clouds burst, I will open the window and feel the cool, fresh air and be happy with the rain.

[EDITOR’S NOTE:”Feel Good Friday” is a regular column written by Des Moines resident Dave Markwell, who just published his first book called “A Feel Good Life” (buy it on Amazon here). Dave also extols to all neighbors: “Enjoy where we live. Put your feet on the pavement and truly feel how great it is to live here!” Also, you can “friend” Dave on Facebook here. Or work out with him at his exercise company Waterland CrossFit!]

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