It is here. That crispness in the air and the bluness in the sky. That little something that tickles at the top of my stomach with the first yellow leaf on my neighbor's trees. The smell of the furnace kicking on for the first time, after months of being unused, and sending a little old dust through the air vents. This time, this season, this me. With each passing year I find it feeling more and more like home. There is always something to be said for this time of year, so I thought I'd make a tradition out of saying it. Partly stating the obvious, I know, but also partly showing just how pivotal this time of year really is for me. So, without any further ado--I leave you with my newly christened Autumnal Essay.
Before the Close
With Spring there is a newness and freshness to the air. Spring, so full of growth and re-brith. It is all very bright and exciting, invigorating the bones and ringing in a new spirit of awakening. That is all fine, dandy even. Spring is Spring and can have its day. To be honest though, Spring, that upward growth, is in fact the simple beginning of the Fall. It is the start to the finish, a means to an end. Autumn, as a response to Spring, is a time of closing, a death in many ways. But wait, Autumn is death the process, not death the already dormant.
A little eerie and morose, yes, but also a sigh of relief. There is something so comforting and relenting with this process of closing. The plants are tired from blooming, blossoming, and producing all Spring and Summer long. They long to rest, to close. Even the other mammals take stock, cozy up, and ease into a lasting sleep. The final harvest has come and gone. The gourds begin to bedeck stoops and stairs. The chipper pastels of Spring have long faded. Now there are colors far richer to bask in. Everything glows with warmth in the fall. Though, this warming is from the inside out, and not the reverse. The light now comes from within, and all the better, don't you think?
In Fall, things are far from finished however. There is still so much to be closed with Autumn, so much living to be done, so much of the process to be finalized. I've recently seen how Autumn, this easing into rest, also comes with a staggering urgency, a last fight before Winter. Autumn is so much like those last few chapters, last few pages of a book. You wish to enjoy them slowly, fully, never wanting the story to end. And yet, there is still this nagging, this rush to reach the conclusion, this need for all the loose ends to be tied. So you read quickly, but fully, savoring each page of text until you reach those final words. By then you know what follows. Blank, white pages. The death, the end, the emptiness of coming to the close.
For now I am saying no to winter, to the dormant and stark pages at the end of the year. Instead I will revel in the rich, beautiful, urgency of Fall.