Archived Story

Jessica Sieff: Welcome back, fall

Published 10:20pm Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Fall befell me the weekend before last.

The morning air was cooler. The traffic throughout downtown South Bend was just beginning to build as I wove in and out of it trying to dodge the madness of a Notre Dame home game.

There was also the distinct feeling of a political hangover, overload from two weeks in a row of partisan pomp and circumstance. But the memory of the conventions faded quickly at the sight of hipsters walking toward campus with their liquor concealed in organic canvas bags.

It is fall, I thought, with a deep, affectionate sigh.

I love this time of year when squashes sit where strawberries once reigned and everything is roasty-sweet and pumpkiny.

The start of fall also carries a deeper significance. This past weekend we celebrated Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year and the start of the High Holy Days. Each year,  I make an effort to remind myself what these next handful of days are all about. It’s a time dedicated to deep reflection of who we have been in the past year and what we want — not for — but of ourselves in the year ahead.

We contemplate the challenges as well as the successes, what they mean and what the experiences of the last year have taught us about ourselves.

Reflection is an important part of self-awareness and of growth. And no time of year seems to be a better fit than when the world takes one last bow of beauty before settling in for the hibernation of winter. This is when the leaves on the trees approach their richest color and we are rested from months of sun and warmth.

My wish for all of you is a moment or two of reflection and grand aspirations for the year ahead.

Fall is here.

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