Sailing Into Fall

It occurred to me while night sailing recently that as summer glides into fall, we change our perspective to focus on the immediate needs that arrive with the new season.

            When the moon shines on the bay, we can only see the few things that are illuminated- a swatch of water and a faintly lit, shadowy shoreline. There is a similarity in transitioning to fall, in that we now need to focus on the necessary routines that must and do occur each autumn. Getting kids back to school and starting up their sports and other activities are major events. There is often a rededication to work as well, prioritizing tasks and projects that may have been postponed due to vacations and the active summer months.

            The brief and often over-scheduled summer now settles down, and many fun distractions go away. No more parades, weekend festivals or days at the beach. There may be a slight sadness or disappointment as summer slowly becomes fall. And yet, who doesn’t love being cozy in sweaters, enjoying seasonal treats like warm cider and watching the colors change?

            There is a comfort to routine- we know what we need to be doing and when. Though some may find that limiting, to others it’s a relief and freedom of its own kind. Knowing what we have to do allows for scheduling in things we want to do. This is no longer a summer free-for-all, with an abundance of choices that we often feel rushed to include. Summer feels like a short season, and when we know the weather will change, each day the sun shines is the day we need to pack in as much as possible. Right? But it tends to be a headlong rush, leaving us breathless and a bit exhausted.

            Then there’s fall…cuddling up with a good book on nights that begin earlier, turning up the heat or lighting a fire, and planning for the seasonal events of Halloween and Thanksgiving.

We get the kids back to set bedtimes, put dinner on the table at a regular hour, and resume following a favorite sitcom. There’s a lot to be said for catching our breath, and recalling great summer memories while pulling fall’s shawl in close.

            The only catch about routines is not letting them define us, and making sure to keep spontaneity alive. Shake up your routine by taking a new class­ – maybe cooking or wine tasting. How about a workshop or training you’ve been meaning to do to improve work performance or get up to speed with social media, for example? And if you didn’t get a chance to pay a visit to one of the many lakeshore towns, autumn is the perfect time to seek out fall color with a little day trip. Another great nighttime activity to embrace the seasonal shift: mousing for big brown trout on the Manistee or Pere Marquette rivers.

            Just because we’ve embraced the inevitable change of season, remember to make time for something special, like a little night sailing!