Falling into fall
The cyclical nature of life provides respite, comfort
For some reason I will always associate fall with the way it made me feel as a kid — clomping into school in my itchy, too-stiff, back-to-school clothes, carefully cutting pumpkins out of bright orange construction paper that smelled like cardboard and using my dirty fingers to stick them on the bulletin boards of my classroom.
I can remember nights spent camping outdoors with my dad at our Indian Princesses retreats, the crisp fall air settling against my cheeks and the smoke from the bonfire burning my eyes as I leaned back against my father’s chest, hearing the rumbly noise of his voice as he talked to the other dads.
I can recall the thrill of those Halloween nights when I ventured out into the darkened neighborhood with my friends by my side, and that quiet pang of sorrow as I looked over my shoulder to see my mother’s receding figure silhouetted against the light coming out of our kitchen window.
I still feel the things I associate with these memories to this day, even though I am now almost 22. Sometimes I’ll walk into a classroom before Thanksgiving and still find myself ridiculously surprised that we are not tracing our hands to make turkeys or bending waves of black paper into comical pilgrim hats.
I still feel that little leap in my stomach the first time the air starts to turn a little cold, that same flip you get when you meet someone you really like or find out you got a job you really wanted — that small pang of excitement that lets you know a change is coming your way. Because that’s what fall is: a change.
Yes, things start to die and the leaves, once green and lush, begin to fall like so many strands of hair leaving behind a head forlorn and bare. But with that comes a sort of promise, a subtle reminder that soon will come the fresh sweep of winter, soon will come those mornings you wake up to find Grounds blanketed in a heavy coat of snow. Everything will seem so still and so quiet — your breath tumbling out before you into the silence and leaving behind the greatest feeling of peace.
I love fall because it is a reminder — a reminder of the cyclical nature of life, of its various ebbs and flows and the patterns that run through its currents. It’s a reminder that no matter how big my insecurities, my worries, my fears, there is always a new change around the bend, a new shift in the weather or forecast of the sky to carry me forward in this pattern of life.