Chasing Down The Muse: With fall coming, change is in the air

It's in the air.

On my early morning walk, I could feel it, see it, hear it almost screaming at me. Fall is nearly here.

Labor Day seems to mark the official end of summer, though there is a weaning process that takes place as various schools begin session. Book buying, clothes shopping, new backpacks and other supply purchases, haircuts and more take the place of swim lessons and beach play.

Walking along Heisler Park's bluffs, I now heard a silence — the lack of happy children's' voices raised in frolicking play. Even the sea was more silent as it gently eased against the shore. The water was clear and peaceful and so many shades of blue and green. Damselflies were everywhere in silent flight, replacing the boisterous Junior Lifeguards of a few weeks ago.

Fall is definitely in the air.

Change is in the air, as well.

The art festivals are drawing to a close. Traffic should ease some. Restaurants will again be more available at dinnertime. Friday evening's Sunset Serenades will return for our autumn enjoyment.

While, in general, traffic will ease, there will be increased traffic around school times. As always, those of us enjoying the ability to move around town more freely in our vehicles will need to watch out for children and other pedestrians.

When driving, a different kind of attention is in play now. Buses stop to let children on or off. We must remember that, unlike with the summer's trolleys, we must stop and wait patiently until the red lights are turned off. It's the law and yet I am always amazed at how many folks ignore this.

Another law — and one of my personal pet peeves — is the cell phone law. What in the world possesses so many people to ignore the law about hands-free cell phone usage? I am sure no one thinks they are guilty of inattention as they hold the phone up to their ear and miss two turns at the stop sign. Or how about straddling lanes or weaving or changing lanes without signaling?

If you must answer the phone, pull over or go hands-free! Not only is it the law, but it makes us all safer by far. If you can't pull over that moment, call the person back. No phone call is more important than the safety of children and all of us.

OK. Off my soapbox now. I look forward to fall with eager anticipation. The light changes, the shadows shorten, and, even as I will miss the long daylight hours, there is something special about the autumn days too.

For those of us intimately involved with Laguna's summer festivals, there is a sort of peacefulness that comes along with these days. It is a time of rest and ease. It is a time for something new — pushing envelopes and stretching our creative muscles a bit.

Yes, it is in the air! Enjoy.

CHERRIL DOTY is an artist, writer and director of the Sawdust Studio Art Classes in Laguna Beach. Always fascinated, inspired, and titillated by the beauty and the ever-changing mysteries of life, she can be reached at or by phone at (714) 745-9973.

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