There’s a certain dread that comes to me around this time of year.
Autumn hardly seems to exist in the more southern states of America, seemingly lasting anywhere from one week to one month at best. The seasonal fanfare resides in non-perishable decorations and sweet treats, only feeling any true chill on our skin in the early morning before the sun is fully up. In the eternal summer of Texas, I wear flannels on the regular in 90-degree weather, with a thermostat set to 70, and start to reside in fluffy blankets when the forecast says 60. Certainly, there is an artistry to adaptation.
It never fails to feel as though the cold sneaks up too sharply, this time of the year. I am never ready enough for the jolt of passing time beneath my fingertips, the reminder of nearing deadlines and dates, life passing by, drained and replenished. Autumn is a source of excitement for many- and I don’t deny the delight of hot chocolate every morning, nor crunchy leaves on a once-clear sidewalk either. Yet growing further into teenagehood embeds a wistfulness of the present that I hardly feel otherwise. There is a sense of nostalgia and longing for all that I did or didn’t do in the year, feeling my accomplishments drift by, one by one before my passive eyes, leaving the branches of my life bare.
I’ve spent much of my life on the run, doing one thing after the next, never feeling comfortable slowing down in my ambitions and dreams. Most of the time that inability to relax appears in my writing, giving my worlds and ideas a home in another document when my mind cannot contain them any longer. I savor the hunger for more, the resulting creations, the love I am allowed to have for living. Not often am I made to face what I have done, rather than what I am currently doing. But the shorter days and earlier hours of this season give me some despair within that desire, confronted with the notion that I am fragile in the face of eternity. I am only another leaf soon to fall to the sidewalk, lost amongst a thousand others.
It is a thought that I fear sometimes, to be so inconsequential and so easily lost to the tendrils of time. Amidst growing cold and darker evenings, sometimes I feel I already am. To watch nature falter and feel the end of another year grow near does feel like the end of another era for myself. It is no time at all. It is an arbitrary time, for all.
But how far away it takes me from being me.