Autumn is coming in hard to Wisconsin. Briefly, of course, but already the days are short and cool, and I can go out without wearing sun screen and remain unburned. I leave the windows open when I want it cool, breezes come softly, and soon I'll be wearing the hoodie-and-jeans getup that is my preferred mode of dress.
I have no idea why, but Fall is my favorite season of the year, and it always has been. Maybe it's because Fall is when things die, when the ephemerality of nature comes to the fore, which has always been important to me. It's important to me that the world dies, that it goes to sleep, it reminds me that no matter how bad things get, eventually I'll die and the world will forget. So I shouldn't worry, because there's nothing I can do that the world will remember when it wakes up. Rather morbid, is it not?
Fall really shouldn't be my favorite season. Not only was it the period of the year when I began school (something I always abhorred) but it is when most of my life's tragedies occurred. My 7th grade expulsion occurred in the fall, as did my parent's divorce, my agonizing move from Tennessee to Alabama, my termination and subsequent impoverishment while living in Southern California, not to mention many thousands of other minor tragedies. And yet, I persist in my love of this time of year, though I can't adequately explain it.
Is it because it's the only brief time of the year when my body is comfortable in itself, not exposed to the heat and sun of summer nor the freezing agony of winter nor the thick wetness of spring? Is it because Autumn is when I can find myself getting out and exploring? Is it because, for all the agony, fall is when I am most free, able briefly to get out into the world while everyone else is going in? I do not know.
But I do know that I love the fall.