Autumn, the year’s last, loveliest smile.” ~William Cullen Bryant.
It didn’t take me long to figure out one of the first few things that I am missing from my previous life of 20+ years in the U.S. The Autumn season. Oh, the changing of colors. You look around and strong, captivating colors are popping out all over. They come slowly, perhaps in your neighbor’s yard first, then around the whole block, in your neighborhood, and in your town. Pretty soon, everywhere you drive, all you see are bright colors. Red, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, green, brown; I mean it’s just a colorful world. And the fresh cool breeze that it brings, what a relief sometimes after a hot, humid summer. There’s something that Autumn brings that feels so special to us humans. It’s a reminder of how precious our nature is to us.
To say that I miss Autumn is probably an understatement. My heart is aching for it, to feel the cool breeze, to see pumpkins everywhere I go, to walk through the falling leaves, to see the Halloween decorations that have been up since July in some places, to be awed by the colors, and to see the birds starting to fly in a big pack. Of course, since I used to live in Indiana, there’s also the smell of fall harvest, or in some cases, the smell of fertilizers. Hmm… Then, along with the sensational smells, also came the sneezing and watering of eyes. Yes, I can truly say I miss them all, the whole package.
No doubt that Autumn has its own uniqueness. Whereas Summer is about relaxing, enjoying the afternoon nap, going to the beach, and wearing summer dresses in the sun, and Spring is about cleaning, putting away long-sleeved and heavy-material clothing, Autumn, on the other hand, is about preparing for what’s coming next, Winter. It’s about putting away the light summer clothing and digging into the closet to look for the long-sleeves that you put away a few months back, thinking about making hot soup and other hot food (and feeling sick of the light summer sandwich), and (it’s never too early for) making a list of what to buy for Christmas. Whereas the hustling and bustling of the Spring is about what to do outdoor, the hustling and bustling of the Fall is about what to do indoor for the next half of the year. Exactly, in some parts of the U.S., be prepared to focus your life towards indoor activities for half of the year. If you’re lucky, it will only be for a few months. The hustling and bustling are probably made for a reason. For me at least, it was part of the grieving process. Grieving for all of the outdoor activities, the barbecue, the long outdoor walk in the late afternoon and into the evening, the sun, and the list can go on. Like I said above, grieving for the soon-lost-outdoor activities and focusing on the indoor activities.
There’s something kind of sad about the whole process in Autumn for me. As someone who came from and spent the first half of her life from a one-season-only-place (if you call rainy season as something different than dry season; both are part of summer, mind you), I never got used to the changing of the season and the getting used-to part. I never liked the fact that I started to have favorite and less-favorite seasons, which led me to enjoy parts of the year better than the rest.
We’re now coming to the part on what I don’t like about Autumn, which is the thinking of what’s coming next: my arch nemesis, Winter. Every time in the past when this thinking passed through my mind, a different feeling of aching also came by, which I disliked. I hated it so much that in the past perhaps two or three winters, it affected me mentally more than usual. It’s a common knowledge there that seasonal feeling of melancholic or depression happens to many people, including me, in varying levels. However, I was able to notice that the effect seemed to have increased year by year towards the end.
So Autumn, with its magnificent colors, and as much as I miss it, has its own flaws too for me. Then again, which beauty really that has no flaws? Perfection does not exist in reality, only in our mind as ideas. As much as I would love to feel Autumn again, I honestly don’t think I can live in it again. It’s too painful. But here’s the irony (as we humans love to have ironies in our lives), I also ache for its beauty. So with that thought, I leave you with this poem. I wrote a part of it a month ago at the beginning of Autumn and I have since added a few more to the poem. For those of you who are lucky to live where you can experience Autumn and does not have to feel what I felt, please do enjoy it. It’s a gift from nature to you. Go out there and feel it before it goes by.
what a wonderful name you have
what a gentle nature
what a peaceful feeling you bring
lucky are those
who have been swept away by your wind
because they’re forever changed,
doomed are those
who have been touched by your color
because they’ll forever ache for your beauty,
you’re always beautiful to me
and i will always adore you
even with your flaws
you are a wonder on this Earth
an awe to us
and we are humble to have you