I am an autumn child, September to be precise. Which is how I am infinitely attracted to and inspired by the season's earthy mellowness, touched by its slow yet heady melancholia and prone to unpredictable bursts of mood swings. As if being an only child wasn't enough trouble for the world already!
Back home in India, there is no autumn really but only a prolonged and resolute summer which someone once rightly described as 'the dead summer's soul'. So quite understandably, during my first autumn here, I was utterly awestruck by this surreal and surprising change in nature's palette. That leaves actually turn, and how breathtakingly, was beyond the boundaries of my giddy euphoria. Another classic 'foreigner' moment! I would sit by the window and watch the languid leaves flutter aimlessly in the soft afternoon light, creating an illusion of a shimmering curtain of colours. The meditative afternoon walks are the most cherished, when the acoustics of the rustle and crunch of the dead leaves and the crispiness in the air stir one to the very senses. Year after year, the rituals would continue and our vacation to Vermont last autumn only strengthened the love affair forever.
As much beautiful and thrilling the season is, I could never overlook its pensive overtones. And I am certainly not the first one to notice that. Scores of poets and philosophers have ruminated on this riddling ripening of nature - the state when everything is at its mature yet decaying best. Despite the rush of joy from the riot of reds and golds, the falling leaves fall with such a determined longing as if they are in love with the earth, and wish to be one with it. But again, I am a pukka nature junkie and much like autumn, carry a melange of desire and doom waltzing in my heart forever.
And so, the autumn child waits...
P.S. The poetry lover in me could not resist posting these unforgettable lines of e.e. cummings, one of my favourite poets of all times:
"a wind has blown the rain away and blown
the sky away and all the leaves away,
and the trees stand. I think I too have known
autumn too long ..."