Saturday, October 18, 2008

Phoenix Fall

Today is the first honest day of fall here in Washington, DC.
The summer is the present, it is now. Summer living is about capturing each moment and wringing out every drop of what is good about life. Catching every drop of sunlight, playing in every wave, spending each night sitting on the porch about to fall off the front of the house sipping strong drinks telling rude jokes and laughing too hard.

And then the summer fades, the heat contracts into a hard chill, and then one morning, you wake up and your nose is frozen and it’s fall. But rather than stepping forward from the present into the future, the whole world hits the rewind button and sinks into the sofa to sip hot cider and look at crackling home movies from the nearly-forgotten past.

The air in the fall is cold and crisp, but not yet sharp, and an unexpected breath of it will black you out with memories of playing soccer and football in ankle-deep crunchy brown leaves, and faint images of lugging around bags heavy with candy on a chilly Halloween night, and red cheeks and seeing your breath in the air for the first time. A chest full of fall air is good as an hour flipping through old photos.

When you take in that breath, everything begins to end: the end of free, unencumbered summer, and the beginning of death. The end of the brown, yellow, red leaves as they float to earth, and the end of red tomatoes bursting off the vine, anxious for you to take a hungry bite out of their side.

By the time you breathe out, everything is new again, reborn cool and fresh. Reams of clean paper are snapped into new binders, and two white sneakers are ready to carry you to the first day of school. The earth is beautiful and sad as it rises from the ashes of decadent summer into something innocent and pure.

Or perhaps it’s not sad at all—just beautiful—and I imagine that sadness, because I can’t fathom something so perfect as fall.


Anonymous chucky said...

we have no fall in Hollywood.
Everyone complains.
We just have a lot lot of fires,
Then, after that, it rains.

19/10/08 12:17 AM  

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