Fall is a much maligned season. It is the messenger of cold things to come; the dead leaves seem to say in a Starkian voice: “Winter is coming”! If literary works about the season are any indicator (Blake’s “To Autumn”, Keats’ “To Autumn”, Dickinson’s -shorter- “Autumn”), it is the most melancholic time of year. The daylight wanes and the temperature scurries away alongside it.
Given that, it is easy to feel the autumn blues. To be depressed. Another summer has gone by. For a transitional season that is a little summer and a little winter, it doesn’t seem to show its sunny side up much. But I am here to show you otherwise! Fall is in fact my favourite season. Let me tell you how to survive it and perhaps even thrive in it.
To triumph over the autumn ennui in Montreal, a city where the transition to winter can be ‘harsh’ to say the least, one needs to prepare. One needs to embrace the melancholy of the season and look on the warm side of things.
It is all about the attitude.
The leaves are falling, and the trees are tombs marking their demise!,
you might moan. First, don’t be too melodramatic. Second, look at the ground
and watch as in their demise, these leaves are bringing tremendous joy to
kids all around. Use the melancholy to your advantage and remember how you loved
jumping into those piles of reds, oranges and yellows when you were little. And the
smell, ah! Good times.
The sun is slowly retreating, letting the cold and dark of the night
encroach ever more!, you might then complain. Well, grab your woolen scarf
and get yourself some hot coco. Comforting things are most effective
when actually facing uncomfortable situations.
Another graduate year is starting, how will I survive? Don’t think of Fall
as the beginning of a grueling journey, but rather see it as an exciting new beginning.
As graduate students, our New Year starts in September (ok, August technically) and just like the real New Year, you should see it as a great opportunity to try new things. It is the beginning of the year for clubs and activities of all kinds as well. I, for one, decided to try the Mcgill Trivia Club. And writing for Grad Life visibly. Try something different this year.
The summer festivals have come and gone; the city’s spark of life is flickering. This is a good thing. Take advantage of the down time to meet some old or new friends and share some quality time with your significant other or your family. And fear not, Montreal still has some great activities: the Lanterns at the botanical garden, the Rocky Horror Picture Show (if you are into that!) at the Imperial Theater and the Salon du Livre de Montréal at Place Bonaventure in November. They are all great opportunities to brace the cold in order to better cozy up afterward.
Fall can seem depressing, but it’s actually a great motivator to truly
enjoy some of the most comforting aspect of life. Without cold, there is
no warm. What do you do to keep warm and snug in the Fall?