As September folds into October, my favorite time of year begins to take shape. Autumn is the quintessential compilation of all things good in life.
In celebration of the season, I present a case for the goodness of autumn – what it is – personally, existentially, philosophically – and why I love it so much.
I call it my fall-osophy.*
*I apologize for the really, really dreadful pun.
But that doesn’t mean I’m sorry about it.
Autumn is a lot of things.
It’s the scents. It’s the aroma of burning firewood that clings to my clothes, the kind I can still smell on my jacket when I wear it out days later. It’s the earthy smells of the forest when I take a walk, that creep out from the underbrush like sighs exhaled from the trees as they relax their limbs until springtime. It’s the pumpkin-scented steam rising from the latte in my hands as I take refuge from the cold in a coffee shop with a friend.
It’s the sensations. It’s the way my nose feels the nip of Jack Frost as he preps for his big show. It’s being enveloped in the folds of a giant, oversized sweater. It’s the way a piping sip of cocoa blossoms from my stomach and warms every inch of my body. It’s the kindred comfort of intertwined fingers on an afternoon stroll.
It’s the tastes. It’s the timeless combo of roasted marshmallow and melted chocolate between two graham crackers. It’s the way a hot mug of tea is my perfect study companion. It’s how I can shovel down a sugar-coated tray of deep-fried Oreos without shame. It’s the crisp flavor of each breath I draw. It’s how a tall glass of apple cider is just so [i]right.
It’s the sights. It’s the kaleidoscope of color that is the forest, as every tree shouts the turn of season at the top of its lungs. It’s losing myself in the campfire, and in the ferocity of its hearth, and in the wistfulness of its licking extremities. It’s faces, illuminated by the flames and framed by the blackness of night.
It’s the sounds. It’s the call of migrating geese as they pass overhead. It’s the overwhelmingly satisfying crackle of dead leaves underfoot, and the spectacular crunch from diving into a pile of them. It’s the strains of a fireside musician lazily plucking out melancholy chords. It’s the kettle whistling on the stove. It’s the animals and insects retreating until spring, leaving a silence that makes room for so much more to be heard.
It’s the emotion. It’s the chilly gust that drives loved ones to hold each other tighter. It’s the introspective mornings, nights, and afternoons, shamelessly fueled by Bon Iver soundtracks and endless mugs of Swiss Miss. It’s the spectres of bygone romances, it’s the hope for future ones, it’s the treasuring of the friendships I hold today. It’s the tempering of melancholic reflection with the warmth of friends, family, and the beauty of the season.
No matter how many ways I define it, its spirit can’t be fully captured. Because it can’t be written or be read – it can only be. It’s autumn.
Go enjoy it.
– Benjamin Gotchell
*This is a post my friend Ben just put up the other day. I was so inspired and impressed I asked him if I could share it on The Story Movement! He is just starting a new blog and you can follow him at www.benjamingotchel.wordpress.com *