A Season of Death

‘The summer is over/ the fall is here/ the wind is growing cold/ the rustling leaves/ that fall from the trees/ are turning from green to gold…’ – Unknown

It’s been one hell of a year…

The news – ever since last January – has only come in two varieties: Bad, and Worse. All the fun summer events were canceled. (Even my Guns n’ Roses concert… dammit!)

But guess what? Now it’s AUTUMN!!!

Nothing makes me happy all over like fall. The air turns crisp, and the wind carries the sound of rustling leaves hither and yon as the smell of wood-smoke permeates one’s every breath. The sun sets sooner, bringing the soothing calm of nightfall and casting a shroud of peace over everything.

Spring is a ‘looking forward’, a bright anticipation of another summer. Autumn is a ‘looking back’, a cheerful remembrance of a summer well spent. Autumn is also a ‘winding down’, an en masse sabbatical after a long ‘busy season’. Fall gives one a chance to reflect upon one’s life and accomplishments, before hunkering down for winter.

There’s a sense of utter, eternal timelessness about fall. Summers, in my mind, are individual entities. Upon this summer I went camping in the mountains, and upon that one I saw Metallica play at an outdoor amphitheater. Each summer is unique, and remembered as such. Fall, on the other hand, is Everywhere and Everywhen, a timeless season that gives us a glimpse of itself each year. Autumns tend to run together, their experiences ever linked to form one endless memory.

Then there’s Halloween… Not so much the actual holiday, but the season.

Some of us are ‘Halloween People’ all the year ‘round. Thus it’s very gratifying when – for just a little while – the rest of the world joins us in our pleasant morbidity. Suddenly everyone’s wearing dark clothes, and reading stories and watching films that give us the pleasant willies. Halloween is, I think, a celebration of Death – and also Hope. We celebrate the death of nature, and wistfully anticipate next spring’s rebirth. We celebrate the death of people, and thus perversely re-discover the fierce joy of being gloriously alive.

Autumn is a strange time, a season and a frame of mind that is oddly off-kilter; it exists in between all the usual human pursuits and social norms. If you’re an ‘Autumn Person’, enjoy this time while you can… because it won’t last.

And that’s what makes it so very, very beautiful…

Nothing, after all, inspires appreciation like impermanence.

6 thoughts on “A Season of Death

  1. I love the change in the seasons. It is one reason I’ve remained in the north. Fall is especially wonderful with pumpkin picking, apple picking, the dancing colors reflecting on the water, and Halloween. I feel your pain. While you were missing your heavy metal concert, I was missing a Blake Shelton concert, but now that it’s already fall I’m looking forward to a rescheduling date in the spring.

    1. Here’s hoping! They haven’t announced a new Guns date yet, but I haven’t gotten a cancellation notice either. Apple picking… I used to do that in the Shenandoah Mountains. The hills look they’re on fire this time of year! The Adirondacks are gorgeous, too, especially the nothern-most region. Thanks for reading!

  2. Wonderful post, Virginia! Autumn is my favorite season. Here in Idaho we don’t have as much seasonal changes as we used to enjoy in Virginia, sadly, but you’ve brought back images and memories, so thanks!

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