Every fall, we drive up north from Toronto to see the beautiful colors of the season.
We started this family tradition five years ago, when we moved to Canada. It began as a half-day journey since our son was young and restless and didn’t appreciate long drives yet. But with each passing year, our trips have become longer and more elaborate.
This year we were out for two nights up in Algonquin Provincial Park with our new baby and our older son. Introducing the newest member of our family to a new season and a familiar ritual felt so special.
We tweak our routes a little every year, sometimes driving through spectacular Muskoka or exploring the mountains in Rousseau or trekking through Algonquin’s forests to see the colours up close.
As we drive through winding lanes and canopies of colorful trees, I find myself connecting with nature. There is an air of celebration because the peak colors of the season coincide with my husband’s birthday and Thanksgiving weekend.
Since we don’t have family in Canada, Thanksgiving can feel particularly lonely. It is a time when everyone around us is planning get-togethers with their loved ones. And so, this special tradition of heading north has become our unique way of celebrating the change in season.
Despite the chill in the air, we try to enjoy the outdoors with a picnic or walk because we like to embrace nature while we can. Once the colder weather rolls in, we find ourselves spending more and more time indoors, which is why this is the perfect time to dress warm and breathe in that crisp air.
To me, fall is nature’s way of saying a spectacular goodbye to warm weather and making a grandiose exit. The leaves are at their brightest before they fall to the ground while the trees prepare to receive soft, pillowy tufts of snow. I imagine it as a show on stage, where the characters wear their most lively outfits before changing into elegant and graceful shades of white.
It is a time of orange pumpkins, colorful Halloween costumes, apple picking and warm apple pies. It is a time to celebrate the season of harvest and to experience gratitude during Thanksgiving.
It is a time to bring out those warm sweaters and start making hot chocolate. And while Fall indicates the end of summer, it is a time of new beginnings. A new school year and the beginning of the cold weather.
While we did have a brief autumn season back home in India, Fall was never as dramatic, colorful or full of promise.
And so I find myself learning to appreciate a new season, learning to be present and embracing the liveliness of the beautiful season of Fall.
Piyushi Dhir is the author of 'In Search of Love', 'I'm Yours, The Next Time', 'Silent Promises' and 'Enmeshed Evermore'. She is a contributor in 'Nineteen Tales of COVID-19', a collection of short stories. A voracious reader, a keen traveler, a businesswoman and a mom, Piyushi currently resides in Canada. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.