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.
* * *
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.