I felt fall this morning before I even got out of bed. It was that feeling when the air is just that smallest bit colder that it makes you want to stay snug under your covers for just five minutes longer. I returned from the Adirondacks a couple of days ago. There autumn already kissed the tops of the trees in red colors that fade downward into summer green. The ground there, bedded with pine needles, feels soft beneath your feet, and in the early morning — when mist still hovers over the lake — I can hear loons calling to one another. Before anyone else wakes, I look out from the log lean-to and admire the view from our island: a silent lake framed by trees. For a moment I wonder why anyone lives apart from a place like this. I get the feeling that such a view may one day no longer exist. Pavement compares poorly with this cathedral.
The days in the Adirondacks are long and warm, the afternoons filled with swimming off the soft, sandy beach, and the evenings, filled with nothing-talk and firelight, turn chill. The fire burns brighter then, it seems, and warmer. Yesterday, while back in the city, I stepped on a crunchy leaf, and then another, and another. A whole pathway of them, all crunchy. Is it the draught, I wonder? Or fall’s early arrival? Both perhaps?
I enjoy fall more than any other season. To me fall means beginnings, because for most of my life, up until just recently, it signaled the start of something new. September’s synonymous with something that’s momentous in the life of every child—school’s beginning—and it’s burned into my brain. So even still, at 25-years-old, when the leaves begin changing and the air turns crisp and my breath I can see in the early morning, I feel a sense of new beginnings, of starting over. I get this urge to buy fresh new notebooks filled with perfect white paper, pens filled full with ink and packs of pencils with erasers still unused. I feel like I should buy a few new items of clothing and that I should get organized. How strange it is then when I find that September comes and nothing in my life changes but the weather, turning colder, wetter and stormier until finally snow flies. The leaves turn crackly and the air cold, but every day I go to the office and sit in my chair without even a window to look outside and watch my favorite season. How strange that September comes and yet school doesn’t. And never will again. Everything changes, and I watch, wondering if I ever will too.