The Remembrance of Autumns past

Fall has always been my favorite season, one of remembrance, and of renewal. The very aspects that lend it beauty, the changing and dying of the leaves, the long rays of light as the sun slants towards its winter home, remind us of the cycles of the world, of the ephemerality of beauty. For if beauty were eternal, it would lose its very essence. Even in this, collectively the longest, hardest year of our lives, the leaves and the trees and the shadow of the sun through the thickets remain to remind us of the beauty of the world, of what it means to be alive, what it means to be human.

And though my early optimism was as ill-founded as it was well-meaning, the rolling events of this strange year cannot remove the memories of better times past, or the hope of better times to come. And even if sometimes the memories of the times before seem like a dream to me now, as if I had somehow acquired some other person’s memories, these memories, these dreams of some other life, are as vivid as can be, running through me like some vast, rain-choked river.

I was struck by all of this today, as my favorite trees become bare, and the rustling leaves grow brown and crumble beneath my feet, and the light wanes earlier each day, as some vast weight seemed to descend and grip my heart with the cold recollection of all that has happened these past nine months, breaking through the beauty of the moment like a sudden storm whose portends I had ignored until it broke upon me, small drops of rain suddenly whipping into the terrible frenzy of a thunderstorm.

Then I sat beneath the trees, watching the shadows dance with the light, as the wind whispered its strange secrets through the leaves, and all of the memories of all of the autumns I have ever known, stirred inside of me, alive and awake and renewed once more.

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