In my tiny part of the world, autumn has settled in.
Walking outside it may still feel summerlike, but a glance at the clock when darkness covers my little town tells me the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. the shorter days are a subtle reminder that the bitter, biting and unrelenting winds of winter will soon whip the snow in whitescapes swirling and drifting down my lonely street and painting the world white.
Soon, I’ll watch the flakes flurry in dizzy dances under the street lamp and wonder where summer… and autumn have gone.
In its own way, the beautiful and brilliant palette of autumn, the reds and yellows and shades of orange, displayed by the dazzling trees, mock the deep sadness born from the reluctant realization that another summer has gone, another autumn has come, winter is on its way… and another year of my life is almost gone.
Every year passes faster than the one before. The less time I have left the more quickly time passes. Weeks pass by like days… and months pass by like weeks.
I am not quite sure why autumn has such a profound effect on me, but it does. It brings deep thoughts and uncertainties and makes me wonder. Why is life not fair? Life is unquestionably not fair. It seems to me that if life was fair, time would pass quickly when we’re young and have plenty of time, and pass slowly when we’re older when the sand in life’s hourglass is swiftly running out.
As a child sitting in school, I remember looking at the classroom clock, its hands telling me there were ten minutes left in the school day. And those ten minutes seemed to take forever. Back then, school weeks seemed like months to me.
And I can remember that summer vacation from school, as welcome and anticipated as it was, seemed to drag on and on. So much so that by the end of August, I was ready to go back to school. I couldn’t wait to get back I loved my summer vacation from school but summer seemed too long. Funny… summer once seemed to last forever and now it seems like this year, it was never here at all.
In autumn, sunlight has a strange slant to it. I look out the window at the shadows cast by the trees and they’re long and unusual. Something seems amiss with the world, but it’s exactly as it is supposed to be. Still, an uneasy feeling comes with the beauty of autumn and I can’t quite figure out how to describe it. Maybe it’s the not knowing… not knowing what lies ahead. Not only with the seasons, but with my life as well.
No matter how well you plan for tomorrow, tomorrow has its own plans. You can carefully plan for almost every eventuality and yet tomorrow can slap you down with something you never saw coming.
I have to admit this. Autumn in all its beauty affects me strangely. You see, autumn is and has always been, a thought-starter for me. It brings on melancholy thoughts that turn quickly whimsical. But the whimsy almost always turns back to melancholy again.
Sometimes those flights of fanciful thoughts, are weighed down by years and memories and don’t get very far off the ground.
I look past the shadows, into the sunshine and I see trees, dazzling and resplendent, painted by the hand of Nature, and every one of them more beautiful than any painting I’ve ever seen. Yet, their beauty brings me a sullen sadness, both peaceful and deep, and I don’t know why. It’s an uneasy feeling because my mind can’t understand it and a welcome feeling because it has become familiar.
The swaying colors remind me that life is as fleeting as the seasons and as unpredictable and changeable as the wind. It is a mixture of victories and losses, of sorrows and joys, pleasure and pain, tragedies and triumphs. Life is not fair and maybe it’s not supposed to be.
It’s a warm, anachronistic autumn day – a day out of sorts with the season. It more belongs to June than to October. Days and seasons will be what they will be. We will all live exactly as long as we’re supposed to and not an hour… or one second longer.
The best we can hope for is to leave behind the love that we shared.