Every year about this time, my neighborhood grocery store lines its entrance with potted chrysanthemums for sale. As I haven't been a student for a few years now, this tends to serve as my symbolic signal that summer is ending.

Though the calendar says we still have a couple of weeks before that's official, everybody knows that Labor Day weekend marks the practical end of the dog days. Days get progressively cooler, the air gets crisper, Halloween candy begins popping up on grocery store aisles and around my office, and all those summery activities I've been enjoying for the past few months look less and less possible.

It's a little sad to think the days of swimming and grilling and outdoor concerts are behind me for another eight months or so, but I must admit there's more sweet for me in this change of seasons than there is bitter.

I know spring is the poetic metaphor for rebirth and renewal, and the new year is when you're supposed to recommit to goals, but I always feel like fall is the time when life really can turn over a new leaf — bright red and curling at the edges.

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