The Summer Sun’s Retreat Invites Us Out to Play

Our beautiful backyard sanctuary is an inspiring place to greet the fall day.

Agreeable Autumn Days in Arizona

Change is a constant in our lives and that renewal is reflected in the natural world around us. On Monday, September 23rd, the sun began to loosen her control over those living in the Valley of the Sun. Although the change in season occurred over two weeks ago, we are just beginning to enjoy the effects of that seasonal change. The sun does not leave us quickly or willingly, it seems, as she crosses the celestial equator headed south. The shining sun that scorches us all summer is reluctant to give up her control over our thermostats and our daily routines. In other locations across the northern hemisphere, the arrival of fall means winter is approaching too quickly, but for us living in the southwest, it means we can let out a collective sigh of relief when we step outside, especially early in the morning. The less intense blazing star invites us outside to enjoy golden sunshine and we are happy to oblige. The skin-scorcher becomes a life-giver – invigorating rather than depleting our senses. We have endured the soul-stifling summer months and can now enjoy crisp mornings, cool afternoon breezes, and open windows in the evening that allow fresh air to once again circulate through our summer-sealed homes.

We have been living in a pressure cooker for four months and the sun’s retreat delivers an explosion of outdoor activities across the Grand Canyon state. A change in the season brings desert dwellers an anticipated season of farmers’ markets, fairs, festivals, hikes, bike rides, concerts, weddings, walks, art shows, and other activities that share the same inviting sky. It is impossible to do everything offered around Arizona during the agreeable autumn days, but it sure is fun to try. I have been making the most of this fall thus far, even if those moments arrive in the form of pausing to look at the setting sun during the golden hour.

I am headed to the Desert Botanical Garden this morning, followed by a visit to Sidewalk Surfer in Scottsdale to see our friends’ band play during the lunch hour, and a drive back to the west valley to attend an afternoon art mural dedication, then we will end our evening at a Second Saturday in Peoria Dinner event. It will be one of two busy weekend days, but I am going to squeeze every drop of loving sunshine out of this season and I invite you to do the same. Unless of course you are already shoveling snow – warm wishes to Billings, Montana, Denver, and North Dakota, or anywhere else that abandoned autumn too soon. If that is you, I hope my fall photographs bring you joy and a respite from the cold outside.

Fall Highlights

“Give me juicy autumnal fruit, ripe and red from the orchard.”
― Walt Whitman

from the poem, Give Me the Splendid Silent Sun

My Friday Happy Hour ~ A bike ride along the New River Trail before the sun set.

Play like a child, read like a child.

Leaves by

David Ezra Stein

In the spirit of embracing the changing season and adding more play to my life, I recently read a children’s book about a young bear experiencing his first autumn. When the leaves begin to fall, he is concerned and tries to put them back on the tree. Realizing he cannot put the leaves back on the tree, he decides to scoop up a pile of leaves and put them in a hole, where he spends his sleepy winter. After a long sleep, he awakens to sunshine and tiny new leaves welcoming him to a new season. This sweet book reminds me to practice seeing the world through the eyes of a young child, or in this case, a young bear, and experience the wonder of nature.   

Discovering the world through my daughter’s eyes.

My daughter’s fall view.

Eugene, Oregon

Letting the light shine through and embracing freedom and exploration.

I am still embracing the freedom that comes from waking up on a Saturday morning and realizing I do not have 100 senior essays waiting for me to read and grade. The memory of being shut up in my office most Saturdays to grade student work is fresh. The awareness of that freedom is enhanced when the weather is inviting. I was so focused on my work that I rarely even opened my window shutters. Maybe I did not want to be reminded of what I was missing outside. I have started opening the shutters recently, and I have captured some beautiful sun rays shining through. I am letting the light shine through in many ways. I do miss connecting with high school students – I surprised myself two days ago during a writing workshop in Tempe when I got choked up reading a piece about my students, that I wrote during a seven-minute prompt. I am grateful for my years of service in high school classrooms, and I am also grateful for a brief home office visit this morning – just long enough to write this post before I head out to explore the inviting fall world.

What are you up to this fall? I would love to hear about it. Do you have any favorite fall traditions? Please share in the comments.

Enjoy your weekend and if you are receiving this post through email, please visit my blog for additional pages and previous posts.

Last Saturday’s Phoenix Farmers Market &

“Meet Your Literary Community” Event

ended with a “Can I take a picture of your cute dog?” event.

My Inspired Life ~ Updates:

  • Be sure to follow Emily Gerlick’s Instagram account @em_run_teach_love and, if you haven’t already, read her inspiring story from last week.
  • I am wrapping up Story #26 and starting Story #27, in my “50 Life Stories” writing project (68 pages and 34,341 words).
  • I have completed my application to volunteer with a local organization that assists the elderly.

Copyright © 2020 Michele Lee Sefton. All Rights Reserved.

3 thoughts on “The Summer Sun’s Retreat Invites Us Out to Play

  1. barbieestelleyahoocom

    Beautiful words, captures my feelings about AZ fall perfectly. Your bike ride is near what we hope might be our new home site, fingers crossed. Glad you’re enjoying your freedom, I can relate!

    Liked by 2 people

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