She told me fall was her favorite season.
“Autumn,” I said.
“Yes, fall,” she replied.
“No, I wasn’t asking if it was your favorite season,” I murmured. “I was telling you what it is called.”
“What’s that?” she asked.
“Autumn,” I said. “Her name is Autumn.”
“What’s the big difference,” she asked. “It is all the same. Fall. Autumn. Same difference.”
Which couldn’t be further from the truth. Fall is the time of year when things change. Autumn is the actual change happening.
In my mind it is the difference between the event and the occurence. The difference between the time slot and what happens within the time slot. Dinner is at six. Devouring the food is what happens at 6. Dinner represents what is on the table. Dining is what we do. Going to the lake describes the time and place. Swimming, boating, tanning, fishing, tubing…those are the realities within the time. And Autumn is the greater reality in the season of fall.
Autumn happens to trees. To conversations. To music. Autumn is the shifting force within the season known as fall. Autumn is what is happening to us all. Autumn is the way we dress. Autumn is the way we walk. Autumn is the way we kiss. Autumn is the way we feel ourselves shifting into a deeper place of change. Autumn is the evolution of our hearts as we feel places of our lives begin to die. Our colors change. We slow down and watch ourselves fall from on high to the ground like that auburn tinted leaf. The leaf must reveal itself and be true to itself. And it will hang on the edge of a tree in its simple beauty waiting for the moment to fall. This is the Autumn that happens within us…the reason we linger in conversation, slow our walk into an amble, and enjoy the changes all around us, the changes in us. So pull on your hoodies, your light sweaters and scarves and explore the waning warmth of summer, and hear winter’s hint that soon the day will be cooler than this present night.
Fall will be on our calendars. Autumn will be in our hearts, yet out of our hands, for we cannot grasp what she is creating within us again. So we smile and take another sip of cider, and simply be where Autumn has us, and wait for her colors to take us into a world we have never yet known.