Ahhh! How I hate to admit that once again, we are slowly choosing long sleeve shirts over dresses, not leaving the house without a vest, pulling up our collars and proclaiming: "yep, fall's around the corner!" and I think to myself, like I do every single year, "WHAT?! but I JUST put my winter coats and boots away!" and yes, it's time to dust them off and bring them back out soon. Which of course means that my riding days are counted. Navi and I will have to part ways once more with the cold weather making my trips around the city too chilly to enjoy. I have to say though, after thorough analysis, our summer was quite short this year. It started late and it seems to be finishing early. Similarly to any situation that involves change, humans tend to naturally resist or even rebel against it. Swiss American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross created the five mourning stages with regards to death and drying. I think these stages could definitely be applied to a Montrealer's psychological state when dealing with the end of summer and the beginning of fall. Without further ado, here they are.
1.Denial and isolation
When that brisk breeze greets our cheeks and makes us pull our collars a little higher, we tend to deny it for some time until we no longer have a choice but to adapt...or perish. For example, we'll hang on to our colourful wardrobe a bit too long. We will fool ourselves into thinking that the days are still long, even though we get home to find that the sky has already darkened. We keep looking at the weather forecast with hopes of miraculous heat waves even though the rational part of our brain knows all to well it's not going to happen. Why do we do this? I believe this psychologically gives us time to get used to the change and part ways with summertime on good terms. Or so we think. In addition, when fall starts to appear, we gravitate towards different activities. Activities that allows us to stay warm and further deny that the weather is changing. Staying home in a warm blanket and watch a movie is a good one. That way, if we don't go out, we don't have to deal with the harsh reality that surrounds us: naked trees, nippy noses (don't even get me started on having to carry Kleenex everywhere I go) and UGG boots everywhere. Terraces where hoards of people use to sit down and enjoy a drink are now emptied and abandoned; chairs all piled up and tables removed and the metro stations are full because school is back. Consequently, I'm back to the morning rat race of running after the metro on the second floor at Lionel Groulx and certainly back to being squashed against the wagon doors. Who wants to see that?
Indeed. Why? Why do we have to deal with this seasonal change? Why are we in such a northern country and not a warmer one? Please winter lovers, stay away from us during this time. You must stay detached and avoid judging our behaviour. We are forced to add extra layers on, which takes more time, thus forced to leave earlier and plan accordingly: going to bed earlier, waking up earlier and facing the agonizing truth of another long countdown to summer. In my case, I have to store my pet Vespa away and depend on the commute. Taking the metro is actually nice, I listen to my music, I catch up on the news with the free newspaper and get a mini work out all at once. However, I do miss the freedom that comes with driving my own vehicle. Flying on the streets of Montreal, hearing people speak, smelling the city, feeling the city. I feel as though my wings are being clipped and I am placed in the cage of the commute with the rest of the sheep. You can feel the city become a little bitter as we all return to our well known fall and winter habits. We lose our tan (which means we all regularly get the famous "you look tired" line), we rake the leafs, collect the last of our fresh herbs before they freeze, empty the pool and stack the wood.
Ah yes, in realizing that anger gets us nowhere apart from expressing emotions, we now arrive at bargaining. The part where we try to stall out of the situation and enter a serious negotiation process with a higher force: mother nature... "C'mon! Let us have an Indian summer! Just a few more days of summer, we'll do anything! Puhleeeeeease?!". Of course mother nature has been kind in the past and granted us our wish. Inevitably however, we will enter winter full force and no amount of bargaining, unless with a travel agency, will get us out of this truth.
When the certainty of winter is quite clear, we can isolate and transform to a sedentary state avoiding getting out of the house: "why bother? it's cold and complicated!". Any excuse is good to stay home as we wrap ourselves into a deep mourning phase for the summer that has gone. What a traitor that summer. Does it to us EACH time and yet? We still fall for it every year. Summer, the one that got away and that gets away each time. Dammit! Maybe we can relapse to the anger phase?
Well thank god! At some point, we do end up accepting fall and embracing it even! Especially when realizing all the nice things we can do during this time: changing our style and wearing that leather jacket, enjoying a cup of hot cocoa, apple picking, colourful leafs, no more sun block, halloween, counting down the days to christmas, cozy nights by the fire and so much more! Fall is not so bad...It's actually GOOD that we have seasonal changes, it makes us stronger and allows us to deal with change more often and more adaptively. We start cooking hardy soups and chili recipes again. Apple crumbles and pumpkin pies are all the rage - my personal favourite hot beverage at this time is a Starbucks' pumpkin spice latte mmmm! All the old and new TV shows are back (truth be told I am addicted to a french telenovela...the horror! Thankfully, I've accepted that too). Along with its frigid air, fall also bring a certain softness along with it. Cashmere sweaters are worn, knitted hats and mittens and mountains of blankets suddenly reappear on our couches.
Until then, I am still driving Navi and escaping the metro madness and fooling myself into thinking I will be able to pull this off for another little bit. Gotta love the denial stage ;) good luck with yours!
12 Great Things About Fall...
My name is Ivana. I love photography and meeting people. I hold a Master's in counselling psychology and work as a career consultant. Music is my fuel and an important source of energy in my life. I drive my vespa around the city and I love what I do! :) About this blog: me on my artistic soap box!
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