Life Starts All Over Again When It Gets Crisp in the Fall...
Again, Thank you Mr. Fitzgerald.
Perhaps it is because I was born in the fall, perhaps it is just my season. Perhaps my life really does start all over again, every year at this time. Perhaps it is just my perception of life, mine and everyone elses. But there is something that happens to me this time of year, when the days grow shorter and the nights longer, it is as if I come back to myself. I am not really sure where I went all year but this time of year brings me back to me.
I can’t really explain it. I just know that it happens every year, this time of year.
The coolness of the air, the biting cold as I walk the dog in the morning, mostly due to my stubborn refusal to wear a warmer coat, (I always think it will warm up...and it does but not in time that I am not frigid for at least 50% of the walk).
I do not live where the leaves change or the seasons do their dramatic thing, but make no mistake Fall arrives here in Southern California all the same. And I feel almost like I have been holding my breath all year, waiting Autumn’s arrival.
So she is finally here. And yes, Fall is a woman. No man could have it be 45 degrees at 6 am, 78 at noon, 92 at 4 pm and a chilly 50 come 7 pm. This kind of temperature upheaval could only be done by a woman. A peri-menopausal woman no doubt. Mother Nature desperately trying to find a temperature that works for her ever changing internal heat level.
So with Fall comes a malaise that I do not experience at any other time of the year, and if I did, I would be concerned about it. Autumn brings with her permission to slow down, to lounge, to relax, to read, to snuggle in bed longer than is normally allowed. Autumn brings permission to embrace the slowing of life and I have been waiting for it all fucking year.
So here we are, mid-October already and I am feeling the unwinding of my soul. It is like I have been caught in a web of my own making all year, tangled, gnarled in the threads of my usual existence. But in the fall, the breezes blow colder and make the nesty ravel, brittle and in so doing, exits all the things that kept me shackled all year.
Autumn leaves me feeling exposed, raw, emotions heightened. Lost in myself but not to myself. With the roiling of my inner thoughts and feelings, like a witch’s cauldron on Halloween, I feel out of control while also feeling like I am being propelled into something that has taken the whole year to build. It is a familiar feeling but it is not completely comfortable. I know its impending arrival because I can sense the light change. One day it is summer light and the next it is fall. I never fail to notice it. It does not escape me no matter the circumstances, no matter my state of mind or life station. I see the light change, and feel the air crispen, and I know...my life shall begin anew once more.
My only real challenge every year is to prepare myself for the change that is coming. The hard restart that sometimes comes to me softly and gently and sometimes comes with the force of a cat 5 hurricane. And no matter what I think, I am always surprised.
So what shall it be this year? Work, most assuredly. Relationships, yes, I feel that to my core. My health, please no, spare me that this year. My family, let’s spare them too. I will have a blanket of cats to rest under this Fall, and for that I am most grateful. Financial windfall, fuck I hope so. Courage to actually do what I really want, instead of what I feel like I “should” do. Time to figure out exactly what it is that I actually want, because I really can't tell you....My yearnings and longings and thoughts on this particular topic are really just an exercise in futility...Fall will level me, change me, reorient me, and set me on a new course, regardless of whether I like it, love it, hate it, or whether it breaks me down completely.
And every year, regardless of what she delivers, I am excited, anxious and almost wanton about Autumn’s arrival. I need the new start, I need life to begin again. I need life to restart. I need the air to be crisp, the days to be shorter, the nights longer, rest more acceptable, me more completed feeling.
My life always starts over in the Fall and every year I feel the excitement of an overeager spectator who has long lost interest in summer’s fanfare and promise.
I am excited to wear sweaters and boots. I am excited for fires in my fireplace. I am excited to be tired and have permission to actually allow myself to rest more, read more, snuggle more, nurture more and go for long walks in the woods where the air reminds me constantly that Fall has arrived, finally!
So I am fucking happy but not elated. It is an evolving intimacy I have with Autumn. It is a peaceful contentedness that happens for me every year...where equanimity and acceptance seem to spring forth from my body, mind and spirit so that whatever Fall delivers, I know that my life, stale, dried out from summer’s excesses, will begin anew as the air turns invigoratingly brisk, incisive with her demands and succinct with her plans...life begins anew in the fall...and I for one, live for this time every year.