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With the summer hype over, Door County transforms into a painting of a million auburn colors. Fall welcomes back sight-seers that want a more quiet, tranquil, and colorful experience. Those who welcome a chance to soak in the view, breathe the cooling air, and sip a warm chai tea. It's a different vibe - and proof it's worth coming back in any season.
Many of the activities that we enjoyed in summer become new adventures in the fall. The kayaking you did last spring is now transformed it to a mystical sightseeing tour of fall's most beautiful colors. A perfect time to take advantage of the view reflected off the calmer lake waters. Yoga practice envelops into a celebration of change and self-reflection. As the days become shorter, the food becomes richer, the drinks warmer, and the spirit calmer.
Summer can be frantic - hot beach days, cold drinks, late nights, summer festivals. It seems almost as if we are required to fill up the longer days to capacity. With Wisconsin summers being shorter (and our winters longer) we truly tend to celebrate the warmth and revival summer brings. Filling our days to the brim and enjoying the life of summer leaves us energized and inspired. But yet, after so much excitement, there aren't many who live here who don't have a yearning to see the first leaf change its hue. The signal fall is near.
I see the seasons we experience in Wisconsin as quiet reminders to reconnect with our self. Spring is an awakening. Winter is quieting. Summer is living - - where does that leave fall? A transitory season, I think we tend to flow through without giving much thought to what it symbolizes in our lives. As the world around us quiets down and prepares for slumber, it opens up time for us to get back to what we value. Fall's inspirational color scheme and refreshing cool air allows us to take a breath and reevaluate our passions, goals and values. It's a perfect time to cozy up on the front porch with warm coffee and your journal; to disconnect and reconnect to what matters most.
If you're traveling to Door County this fall, you have the perfect opportunity for disconnecting and reconnecting. With the biggest buzz of visitors gone, the peninsula is more peaceful. Lakeside views offer perfect inspiration, whether from your lodge's window, campsite's peek through the trees, or midday bike stop. The great thing about Door County is the beauty is there upon the first crossing of the county line, it won't take you long to find a place that inspires you. As an artist, I search for places with vibrant color. The best time to capture those autumn hues is late-September to mid-October - - so plan accordingly!
Reflecting on how I spent my summer, I enjoy journaling about how I will carry on and prioritize my time for the upcoming fall. I categorize goals into four aspects adopted from the work of William Danforth: Mental, Physical, Social and Spiritual. I use each as a prompt for how to create more balance in my life by selecting a focus point for each aspect. Keeping it near, I use it as a reminder of what I am working towards during the season. This fall, my focus will shift from Physical - the training and dedication I put on cycling this summer in preparation for the Door County Century Ride, to Spiritual and Mental as I unwind and reconnect to yoga, art, and reading. A reevaluation at each season's turn allows me to live out my passions with the focus and dedication needed for them throughout the year.
I'm looking forward to spending a weekend camping in the brisk fall weather soon and tackling some of these prompts myself. Removing ourselves to sacred spaces - or areas we can easily find inspiration - can lead us in to deeper thoughts and deeper connections with a new perspective. It might just be the signal of change we were searching for.
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