There’s something so bittersweet about fall — it’s a season of clear changes, as leaves shift their color palette before slowly falling. The season is all about endings — the end of summer, of warm weather, of days at the beach and lazy Sunday picnics — but it’s also so beautiful that it’s impossible to lament the end of summer.
While the maples and oaks are ablaze with color, there’s something oddly intimate about autumn — maybe in the way that we swaddle ourselves with warm woolen sweaters and break out the scars. Maybe it’s something about the pumpkin spice lattes and salted caramel mochas, the bitter taste of espresso along the sweet spices and rich chocolates — something about having cold hands and warm liquid, about steam rising up into the night. There’s something about the first morning when your breath puffs out in a little cloud.
Fall is the season of two roads diverging in a yellow wood. It’s a season of choices, of determining which way a life will go. It’s a season of excitement and growth — students heading back to class, college football season, the reopening of the Supreme Court. It’s television premieres, and the start of really great movies. It’s putting away the fun beach reading and remembering all the nuance and care of great literary artists.
It’s a season of childhood memories and nostalgia — at least for those of us raised in America’s heartland. It’s corn mazes walks through the woods. It’s apple orchards, pumpkin patches, hayrides, cider, and homemade cinnamon sugar donuts. It’s haunted houses and trick or treating, turkeys and cranberries and pumpkin pie. It’s comfort food and comfortable places, it’s hot chocolate beside a fire.
This bench is my bench soulmate.
It’s a season of waiting — waiting for the next step, the next stage, the next something. It’s waiting for college acceptance letters, for the first snowfall, for the holiday season. It’s waiting for the weather to get just cold enough, it’s waiting for Christmas and then waiting for spring. For me, right now, it’s waiting to get bar results, to be sworn in, to start work and to finally start life.
It’s a beautiful feeling and terrifying one — it’s a photo album of people you don’t see any more. It’s leaving what’s comfortable and moving forward — it’s wanting to stay in the past and being so, so excited for the future.