Sunday, September 21, 2014


Autumn's Splendid Endings
I love the first cool, crisp wind of autumn, shocking my senses alive and skittering leaves past my feet. I love sweater-clad arms, creating warmth and change after summers when any clothes are too hot to bear. I love the bright red maple leaf spiraling down from above.

Autumn is my favorite season. I am grateful for the changes the autumnal equinox brings, from the brilliant colors to the bare limbs starting to emerge. I don’t mind winter approaching (although I know I’ll be complaining later in February). But for now, autumn cheers my days. Some consider fall a melancholy season, and I feel the truth in that. I do more often remember past griefs in autumn, but grieving is also a way of remembering. A friend of mine, who had lost her mother, once told me that she never minded grief welling up because it created a time to remember and be with her. I like that notion. Grief becomes companionable.

At the same time, autumn is not just about declining days. The changes make this season vigorous. The wind sharpens the senses. That bright blue sky makes seeing clearer. The smells of autumn—perhaps the drying leaves or hot, mulled cider—bring warmth and comfort.

Yet, fall is a short season—a quick dash from high summer temps to that first snow, a surcease among extremes—but this season is not just about endings. My academic life has led me to identify autumn as a time of beginnings. Fall is not unlike spring in this respect, but with all the holidays ahead—Halloween, Thanksgiving, even Christmas, snow-clad or not. Every ending contains a beginning, and I appreciate the splendor of each colorful leaf as it ends. I know another bud lies ahead.


Fall Maple Trees: Credit line:

© Elena Elisseeva


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