Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

PCP: Falling hard for Fall

Bruno Monginoux/

Click here to view the other side of this week’s Point-Counterpoint: “Don’t fall for it.”

The sun is setting a bit earlier these days and soon as students leave classes at 5:15 p.m. it will be dark. But let not the name of the season we are currently in be of any interpretative meaning as to how you feel. Fall is nothing like the verb form of the word. In New England we are in the presence of a season that represents the death of summer and a preparation for the colder temperatures, but no matter how much someone might hate Fall, there is no changing it.

The Earth’s axis wins every year.

A couple of weeks ago I realized it was the start of fall, not only because of the wild colors on the trees and leaves peacefully floating to their demise – but because of a $4 pumpkin pie at the market and a mini-pumpkin I found in a cornfield. As I drove by the cornfields in Northampton there were endless supplies of butternut squash. I was reminded of Fall because yet again I brought out my endless supply of sweaters which seem to always make it just one more season, sans a few buttons. I was reminded it was once again my favorite season. Autumn, especially in the United States has such a great amount of culture – and it is my belief that in the states we don’t embrace culture enough.

Of course every season conjures up a few words that bring the season to life and evoke senses and memories. But the season that has the most effective way of reminding of the time of year is autumn. Surely every season has reminders – summer in the Northeast has humidity and the beach, spring has warming temperatures and rain and winter has well, just slush and dreary skies. Autumn has for the most part temperate weather. You don’t have to worry about how many inches of snow we’re going to be getting, how much rain and how many thunderstorms and tornadoes to watch out for.

For me, autumn is peaceful. The Earth is preparing itself in a spectacular way to rest.

Other than humans, most living organisms are slowing down the pace of life – leaves die, animals store up food for hibernation the skies are darker far earlier. After a crazy summer – who wouldn’t want some peace and quiet?

The first derivations of the use of the word autumn stem from as early as the 14th Century known then as “autompne.” And before the 1500s the season was referred to as “harvest.” It was a time to collect food and then slow down the pace of life. When agriculture wasn’t the only option for people and cities became more populated, than the terms Fall and Autumn were heard more frequently.

For Fall lovers it is a perfect time nature for walks, bikes and hikes, football and holidays such as Thanksgiving, with its good home cooked food, friends and family. Though “Fall” is the season’s informal name it is not a fall towards colder dreaded times. Instead it should be viewed as season of cool crisp air, endless blue skies and zero humidity.

And then there’s probably not what I would call the best holiday – but the most entertaining – Halloween. Because not many other countries celebrate Halloween we have the rarity of dressing up foolishly. As children we are able to feed ourselves insane amount of candy for free, stay up later than usual, singing songs such as, “H, a, double l, o, w, double e, n – spells Halloween.” Remember you thought it was entirely dumb to have these songs at school Halloween functions – but secretly you loved them.

Then there is the largest constituent of Autumn – food – in which another holiday revolves around. Pumpkin pie, apple pie and turkey. Candy corn, pumpkin bread – even pumpkin ice cream and coffee. You can make a hot drink and carry it around without worrying about your hands freezing off or it being to warm out for a hot beverage. Apple cider is simply amazing and hot chocolate is more than acceptable in the season.

For colleges students we are fortunate enough to have our semester start before the rest that labor day gives, than its Columbus Day weekend and Veteran’s Day. Then comes what the University of Massachusetts academic calendar refers to as “Thanksgiving recess.” You bet it does. By this point in the semester I’m sure we’ll all be needing some mashed potatoes, turkey and cranberry sauce – and visits with the family. Five days of endless food await.

The crisp weather makes activities such as pumpkin picking and apple picking all the much more enjoyable. In our society, for most people food is readily available, so the idea of going to pick apples from actual trees is simplistic and fun at the same time. In what other season can you go and just pick bags full of produce?

My fondest memories of fall stem from my childhood, which involved many camping trips, most of which I was unwilling to go on at the time, mountain summits, various festivals throughout the Northeast, famer’s markets, apple picking, corn field walking and just enjoying the outdoors. I’ve learned that even in college there are still plenty of opportunities to go outside and enjoy it.

So, at this point we are only less a month into fall, so all you really can do if you don’t love the season, is lets the leaves fall and go with the flow.

Chelsea Whitton is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected].

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