Labor Day has so many meanings, but it always seems to signal the end of summer. The fall migration has started. We may have been ignoring it for the last few weeks, but once Labor Day has passed, the move is inevitable.
It’s odd this shift into an autumnal attitude. The weather is still hot, the air full of allergens and the days are still (for a few weeks more) longer than the nights. I suspect some of it is living far enough north that the threat of winter is a little more urgent. We’ve had some pretty crazy weather the past few years, but I remember the Halloween blizzard – over 20″ of snow Oct 31-Nov 1. I know that in Minnesota, Trick or Treating involves coats over or under the costumes most years.
I also think some of it is cultural. I don’t have anyone in household starting school this fall. Still, there is something in my world view that says things begin at this time of year. It’s always been a good time for me to start new projects. Diets and exercise that I start in the fall have a greater chance of success. My best relationship memories, all the way back to high school, involve walking through the fallen leaves.
The geese won’t really start moving until we get closer to frost. There is an increase in food gathering, but hibernation is a Thanksgiving event. Still the migration has started. The hummingbirds, first to go, are diminished in their ranks. Even our state bird, the loon, makes its way to warmer climates.
We may no longer be a migratory people, but we migrate in our habits. We stop planning the backyard BBQ’s and start planning the tail-gating parties. We run the winter coats to the cleaners and send the children back to their regularly scheduled days. Our diets begin to shift from corn on the cob and melons to squashes and apples. The air conditioner may still run during the day, but the windows are open at night, or even closed to keep the warmth in against the evening breezes.
Is there a migration in your life this fall?