Don’t Apologize For Your Obsession With Fall. It’s Science
Posted by Judy Taylor on
Okay I admit it. I am an Autumn-O-Holic. I love autumn But I'm not apologizing for it because I read an article this week that the love for autumn is a scientific fact. According to Kathryn Lively, professor of sociology at Dartmouth College, our obsession with the season is a social construct that starts when we’re children.
“We’re conditioned from a very early age that the autumn comes with all these exciting things,” Lively told The Huffington Post. “As children, we come to associate fall with going back to school, new school supplies, seeing friends. It’s exciting, for most. We still respond to this pattern that we experienced for eighteen years.”
For children, starting a new school year means new clothes, new pencils, new sneakers. A fresh start. September, and by extension, the fall, becomes a temporal landmark – a clean slate marked by a new season.
In fact, a team studying the relationship between time and motivation found that seasons have more importance than you might think.
That may be true for a lot of children, but for me autumn was not about back to school. It was about harvest time when all the crops came in and Daddy got a once a year paycheck for his crops.
It was about riding the hay wagon and getting the hay in for winter. It was about butchering meat and hanging it in the smoke house for winter.
It was about grandma making lye soup in her big black cauldron outside. It was about the County Fair and cotton candy and candy apples.
It was about trick-or-treating at the neighboring farms for homemade treats like popcorn balls and taffy.
It was about popcorn and fried peanuts that we raised; hot chocolate, hot apple cider, and fresh apples out of the orchard.
It was about hay rides and playing in the piles of leaves. It was about taking a break from pulling cotton boles to watch the World Series in October.
So, yes....scientifically speaking, I am an Autumn-O-Holic from being raised on the farm. And yes, even though the first day of autumn is not officially until September 23, my house is all decorated for fall with the smells of cinnamon cider.