Thursday, November 20, 2014

Autumn Thoughts

I love fall. It's probably my favorite season, and it never lasts long enough for my taste. Besides Halloween, there's just something nice about the gradual progression of the changing weather, the changing scenery, the changing attitudes. The full stress of the holidays isn't upon us yet (unless you pay attention to store displays), and the full drag of winter isn't upon us, either. Fall is almost more of a New Year for me than Jan 1. There's something to be said of shedding away the old before the barren season begins to make way for spring. It's the perfect time to embrace getting older, to appreciate all that's around you, all that you've gained and lost.

Weights and measures, balances and scales. Gain and loss. Harvest and reaping.

I could ramble about the crisp weather and how I love walking through it, my love of Halloween, my new appreciation of Thanksgiving as I get older and know I won't see every face around the table for one reason or another with each passing year. I could talk about the leaves and the impending holidays and sweaters and spices and all the usual stuff. And they're all great, don't get me wrong, but I think there's a deeper reason why I connect with autumn.

I'm a fairly emotion-based person, though I try to temper that down in my daily life. For me, autumn is a swirl of feelings as much as it is the rattling of leaves on the whispering winds. It's one of those seasons that I'm so glad to experience because it brings to mind all that happened over the summer, all that needs to happen before the winter, and all that I'm lucky enough to have in my life, whether it's people, things, experiences, responsibilities. But it also brings to mind those that I've watched leave within this past year, and those that are a memory from long ago. And while I miss them, there's gratitude there too, a thankfulness even for the disappointment and loss and shadows. How would I be the person I am if it wasn't for those experiences? How would I write what I do if I didn't have them? It's a season of emotional warmth and chilliness, but it's one I welcome.

Maybe it's morbid, but one of the reasons why Halloween and Thanksgiving are so great for me is that they're similar in an odd way. With Halloween you're remembering in a backwards way that you're still here, still safe, still able to see the sun come back around, even though the shadows are out there. And Thanksgiving you embrace all that you have around you, no matter what your situation. It's a getting ready time, and those times are always really exciting for me. Things may not be fully developed, but to know there's potential waiting under the piles of leaves, that's awesome. Although I find the season relaxing, I always start getting a little twitchy in the fall, and the sensation meanders around through the spring, because that's usually the idea formulating time for me, the percolating time, the fermenting thoughts time. It's frustrating that things don't always go quickly enough, whether it's a writing project or something else, but I always, always trust the ideas I get in the autumn. Things happen in the shadows, under the leaves, down under the ground, and they grow into beautiful things later on. I love that early anticipation.

Because what's thankfulness and memory without a sense of something happening and something to look forward to?

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