Summer has nearly ended–sigh–but with the loss of that season comes fall, my favorite time of year. First comes the rush of back-to-school excitement. Although I am no longer a student, it still lingers: the sweet smell of new, red leather tie-up shoes, a shopping trip for jumpers, and the nervous anticipation of seeing old friends from school.
Then comes the nippier air, bluer skies, and orange-crimson leaves floating in rivers and black ponds. The light has become sharper and more golden, casting an enchanting sunset glow over the grass in my back yard. Like the Japanese, I feel there is melancholy beauty in the slow demise of nature, the essence of fall. The event is noble, graceful, and serene. The colors and mood transition from alive to rest–green to yellow, yellow to burnt sienna and then back to earth.
A blooming occurs, too–apples, pumpkins, mushrooms, and fall flowers. The animal and human world become busy in preparation of the cold, gathering acorns, making preserves, and hunkering down in the darkening as afternoons shift to night.
Time to swaddle myself in sweaters, sleep under the covers, and cook cozy suppers. Fall could seem like a sad season, but I choose to see it as an exquisite external slowing down mingled with an inner vitality.