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Is Fall Overrated?

What a preposterous question. I have no idea why anyone would have any issues with autumn. Also, just to clear things up, calling things overrated is overrated. If people really like something, so what?

Anyways, given that introduction, I realized I had to do some research to find out what people who think fall is overrated had to say. Know thy enemy, or something, the saying goes. What I found was both disturbing and enlightening.

Attacks made against fall focused not on the season itself but on the stereotypical fall culture of pumpkin spice lattes and Uggs and overpriced apple picking experiences. I can’t say I really disagree with that. Fall is perhaps, of the four seasons, the most commercialized and the most representative of consumer culture. Fall has become a time to spend and spend on “the fall experience.”

Beyond that, it is back to school season and the season of Black Friday, two massive consumer events in their own rights. Winter is, I think, the clear runner up, given its host of holidays like Christmas and Chanukah, but even that does not represent the commercialization of a season. Fall consumerism has become so ubiquitous that it has blinded people to the magic of Fall.

Given how ingrained consumerism is in American culture, this is, of course, not surprising. To use a metaphor that is perhaps too fitting, those attacking fall have lost sight of the forest for the trees. And you really can’t blame them. The billboards and commercials that bombard us with seasonal fall advertisements telling us that to participate in all culture we have to spend and drink this and eat that and wear these have become so bright and so loud that they have blinded us to the more subtle, the more interesting, and the more emotional aspects of Autumn.

To see fall for what it really is, though, one just has to go outside and look for it.

Fall is the season of painted trees and crisp nights. It is the season where a cracked window and an extra blanket is just enough. It is the season when streams and rivers step out of their summer sauna and the brook and brown and rainbow trout come back to life and start to spawn, their vibrant scales matching the colors of the leaves on the trees, soon to fall and freeze.

It is the season that, with its explosion of color, reminds us that there is beauty in change and in loss, and that growth will come again. It is the reprieve from the heat and humidity of summer, the season of that first breath of the cool and fragrant fall air.

Despite all I’ve said so far, pumpkin is delicious. Carving pumpkins is fun as hell. And there are few things better than biting into an apple you pulled from the tree not seconds earlier.

Fall is playing pickup football in just the right temperature; it is seeing family and playing music with them in the living room. Fall is the rustle of leaves on pavement and it is the first crunch of frost under your shoes in the morning. I don’t know if anyone really has any problems with the actual season of fall. If so, well, they’re wack. Their problems lie not in the season but in what we have made of it.

Perhaps we could all use a moment to take a breath of the fall air and look beyond the Starbucks commercials and fall fashion statements and appreciate fall for all that it really is.

I don’t know if anyone really has any problems with the actual season of fall. If so, well, they’re wack. Their problems lie not in the season but in what we have made of it.

Perhaps we could all use a moment to take a breath of the fall air and look beyond the Starbucks commercials and fall fashion statements and appreciate fall for all that it really is.

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