Autumn is officially here, and bidding adieu to summer is definitely bittersweet. Don’t get me wrong. I love this season. I just worry about what comes afterwards. Just as last year’s memories of one of our harshest winters ever finally begins to fade, most of us can’t help worrying about what’s in store for us this year.

Fall always has a way of making us feel nostalgic, which is feeling a sense of loss. Interestingly, researchers who have studied nostalgia over the years found that memories associated with nostalgia are typically cherished personal moments that actually inspire positive feelings of joy and meaningfulness in life. According to these researchers smells and sights inspire nostalgia, and there are plenty of those in fall.

There is nothing quite like the majestic colors of this season, the cool crisp air, the aroma of pumpkins, apples and spice, and a hot beverage warming our hands, to inspire memories and feelings. It’s a time when many of us reflect on days past, and look forward to the mystery and excitement of what’s to come. It’s a time for those last leisurely walks in temperate weather, harvest festivals, apple picking, and the crunch of leaves beneath our feet.

So enjoy this season of comforting foods and color, and all the feelings that it evokes, remembering that you’re not alone. We’re all in this great adventure called life together. So savor the moment, get out your sweaters and scarves, and stay healthy.