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Stepping Out of Summer

What’s not to love about autumn?

Which will it be, regret the past or dive into the future?
    Turn to Free Will Astrology on page 20, and you’ll read Rob Brezsny’s borrowed counsel to “embrace your regrets. Listen to their stories. Hold them to your heart when you want to remember the price you paid to become who you truly are.”
    There’s a truth there, and maybe that’s one of the considerations I’ll delve into should I be sleepless at three o’clock in the morning.
    Most other hours, I plan to be as busy this fall as I was this summer, when I was too busy to accomplish half of what I hoped.
    I had planned to swim the summer away, and not a week went by without a day or four swimming, plus water aerobics and zumba, which had me starting Saturdays and Sundays laughing in glee as I strained to keep up with sergeant-teacher.
    Those classes grew so compelling that I planned my weekends around them. Much as I regret their ending, now I’ll have my weekends back. Autumn is the sweetest season on the Chesapeake, so the boating trips postponed by pool fun — as well as heat, rain and high waves — are pleasures to look forward to rather than let go of. If weather is on my side, my boat can take me to outdoor pools that stay open through September.
    Either way, I’ll buy another month or two of another top pleasure of summer, lounging by the water.
    It’s thus on just about every score. Compiling this week’s feature story, 50 Ways to Leave Your Summer, has me looking ahead too avidly to indulge much regret. For every loss as summer ends, there’s equal compensation as fall begins.
    The early taste we’ve had of the weather I now ruefully call September 11 weather has me hungry for more blue skies, high clouds and low humidity — though we’ll all do without the tragedy of that day that began so brilliantly.
    Outdoor lounging this season comes without sweat and swelter. So does outdoor adventure.
    No sweat was the term impressionist landscape art teacher Lee Boynton promised for a July workshop in Maine. Making that date was beyond me, but I expect those same terms from Lee’s Maryland Hall class that starts this month.
    Something about this weather and the ingrained old habits of school years make me long to learn. So 50 Ways to Leave Your Summer’s got to include going back to school. I’m already signed up for Boynton’s art class, but there’s so much more to be learned, even Chinese at Northeast Community Center in Chesapeake Beach. Maybe not, but then again …
    What makes you eager for fall? Is it learning? Is it adventure on the open road, by bicycle, motorcycle, convertible or even foot? Do you yearn for mums and pumpkins, apple pie and hearty stews? Or is the spooky season your calling and terror what you desire on an autumn night out?
    Prefer artsy nights out with food and drink, schmoozing and shopping for a good cause? That season is underway, starting with Arts Alive At Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts this weekend, continuing next weekend at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum’s Affair at Point Farm and Maryland Federation of Art’s Collectors Choice October 27 and American Chestnut Land Trust’s Dinner and Auction November 2.
    Artsy but not a night owl? Annmarie Garden’s walk-through-the woods ArtsFest is just around the corner, September 21 and 22.
    All these autumnal occupations and many more, chronicled in this week’s issue, reconcile me — and I hope you — for leaving summer by compensating every loss.
    Well, not quite every one. I dread the day when watermelon turns pale and bland; not even figs and persimmons can make up for that loss.
    Maybe apple pie can, but its calories mean I sure better sign up for indoor exercise aquatics.

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; [email protected]