The leaves are turning, some making their final descent from their branches. The air is crisp, the humidity that soaked the atmosphere a forgotten memory. Pumpkin spice is back at Starbucks.

It’s officially fall, y’all.

Fall, autumn, or aki, as it’s called in Japanese, is my favorite season of them all.

It’s the second to last one of the year, the evening equivalent, if you think about a year in terms of times of the day.

And despite the fact that the period is marked by a descent into darker days and dying foliage, there’s a certain newness and hopefulness that comes with each fall season.

School starts again. This week, there’s a harvest moon. The holidays are just around the corner.

It’s a time for cozy sweaters, even cozier gatherings and contemplative walks. It’s a time for wood-burning, s’more-making, tea-drinking afternoons.

And this fall, as we enter what is quite possibly the first season “post pandemic,” it’s a time for us to reflect, remember and reconsider how to move forward.

As we make our appointments for the new boosters (please do that), and shed our sandals for our boots, it’s a time to look back on these last few years and ask ourselves what has changed and what is yet to come.

It’s a season when historic strikes are coming to an end while others are just getting started. More companies and countries are considering shorter work weeks. 

In this season of decay, what growth is set to happen in these last few years’ wake?

For me, it’s about gathering up my people and finding gratitude. At work, it’s about putting my head down and cranking out stories, reaching out for collaborations.

And as a whole, as a society, to me, it’s about not forgetting the lessons from the pandemic — the increased importance of community, the idea of mutual aid, the pushback against capitalism, the heightened awareness of basic human rights — and instead, using it all as healthy compost to plant the seeds of a better tomorrow.

So, as you stand in line with your scarves to get your PSLs this fall, take stock of where you’re at and take time to reflect as the days grow shorter of what’s changed but also of what’s yet to bloom on the other side.

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