Autumn is a Myth

The ache grows, first only a minor twinge. It gathers strength until the sadness over takes me.

Here, autumn is myth.

Gone are the brilliant colors as trees change to shades of gold, orange, and red.

Gone is the crisp bite in the air each night, forcing me to wrap myself in a jacket.

Gone is the scent of burning leaves and campfires.

Gone is the energy blowing in the air, waiting to fill me with joy of the beauty in the world.

Gone are the open windows revitalizing my life.

Instead, the sun blazes down, parching the drought ridden land.

Humidity bathes my skin in sweat, but brings no rain.

Windows are locked as the air conditioner wonders when it will finally get a break.

Longing for the land of my childhood as autumn embraces it.

Then. A shift.

The days shorten..

The air cools, still warm but no longer suffocating.

Excitement grows as Halloween approaches.

Memories of years past, trick-or-treating with my children, the night perfect for my princess and space ranger.

No winter jacket required as families gather, adults costumed with their children as they trek around the block.

My son’s delight in the decorations peppering the landscape. My daughter’s giggle as she runs to the next house.

My happiness of being in this moment, knowing the season will only get better, not worse.

Soon the scent of nutmeg and cinnamon will fill the air as I bake pumpkin bread with my son.

Soon music will dance with me at the Celtic festival.

The autumn I lived for twenty-six years continues without me and I still mourn the loss.

Then I remember northern winter quickly follows autumn there, but southern fall lasts most of winter.

And laugh maniacally.

* * *

Crisp apples, picked from the orchard, and brilliant leaves blending into the sunset along the horizon mean autumn has arrived in Michigan.

If you’re in one of the areas of the country still sweltering in summer-like temperatures, perhaps George Eliot can help bring some autumnal memories to the surface:

Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot

For you, what does autumn evoke?

Show us in 300 words or less.

Concrit is welcomed as always.


About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos ( sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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16 Responses to Autumn is a Myth

  1. I love this – I, too have moved away from my falls and miss them terribly. Your ending, however, put a great spin on it!

    • I would visit in fall, to get a taste of them, but it proves to be a challenging time to escape.

      In a true bit of irony, today is the first day with a taste of autumn in the air here. I think it will only be a high of 73 and I am frantically looking for my children’s jackets which were not required for 80 days we had over 100 degrees this year.

      But yes, this is still my favorite time of year here. If we are “cold”, my family in the north is much, much colder. 🙂

  2. Renee says:

    Autumn start later here every year, but we still have it. I’d be lost without it, my favorite season.
    I love the images you bring to this.

    Only concrit, where your daughter giggles, I think it’s missing a word.

    • Doh!


      Thank you.

      Autumn is not truly autumn here. It simply cannot be without the foliage of fall.

      Here, the leaves do change, typically in November. Some have already lost their leaves this year, but that is due to drought, not fall. Even as the leaves change, the trees do it slowly, so only a part of the tree is colored, then that part falls before the rest changes.

      Many trees do not lose their leaves until spring, and then they simply turn brown and fall out – there isn’t color involved.

      The trade off is winter is far more pleasant, and half the trees aren’t naked, almost all shrubs keep their leaves, and we have color during winter too.

      But I still miss Iowa autumns.

  3. Nancy C says:

    I so get this. Growing up in AZ, I felt like I was on the out of an inside joke. I didn’t rake leaves until I was almost thirty.

    And you know what? I love the autumn I have now, but my desert autumn is what is in my heart.

    It’s about home.

    • I do not miss raking leaves. Hours of back breaking work from the huge trees we had.

      We have to rake here, but it happens much slower, and half the leaves don’t fall off until spring, so it divides up the work.

      You’re right, it boils to “what is home”, and while Texas really is home, autumn doesn’t feel like autumn without the brilliant colors.

      Ironically, today actually “feels” like a fall day. The first morning you’ve needed long sleeves since… March?

  4. Great post! I have always lived in the Northeast, where fall is short and sweet and beautiful. I really can’t even imagine a warm, drawn out fall, but it sounds nice (but only as something to visit-I really do love fall in NY).

    • I think the key is to observe fall in the north, then run for the south and enjoy their fall and “winter”.

      Best of both worlds.

      Because the trade off for missing fall no snow shoveling and park weather year round for my kids.

      Thank you for stopping by!

  5. angela says:

    What I need is a climate with a moderate summer, fall, and spring. Where can I find that? 🙂

    Yes, the beauty of a mid-west autumn is now dulled for me a little by the thought of the winter ahead.

    Enjoy your winter coat-less Halloween!

  6. I miss autumn so very much, and not even going to the beach in December is enough to make it all better.

  7. Kir says:

    I always say that if I moved (to the Carolinas or Florida or somewhere warmer) I would miss the changing seasons…I would miss the seasons that are not my favorite only because they let me know that time is passing, that hope is renewed, that change is not all bad.

    Loved, loved this. Laughed manically….perfect!

  8. Ha! Love the last line. I’m from MN, and I really hate the cold winters! I could go for a warmer place to live in the winter, but I love the fall!!

  9. Anastasia says:

    A perfect explanation of Texas weather.

  10. Kelly, this is so lovely.

    I guess I have always felt “suffocated” by autumn (to use your word).

    Autumn meant school and coats and that winter was coming. My most significant relationships always seem to end in the winter, so fall is always that weird time where I know things are dying.

    I love your memories.

  11. Jackie says:

    The contrast of the two autumns was a brillant way to address this prompt. Discussing those pieces of autumn you no longer experience with that of your new home, perfectly done!

  12. Deena says:

    We can look at any picture, but unless you actually see it, it is so breath taking. Great article and will for sure share your site. Thanks for the thought.

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