Autumn

Fall, to me, is symbolic of life. In its brevity, its glorious march towards death, its invitation to come behold. There’s a haunting desperation at the beginnings and peaks of fall – you can’t gather all the beauty into your heart, but you want to. You can’t make it last forever, but you want to. You know it has a definite beginning and end, but you also know that this fall – this one right here – could shock you and last for a month, or a week. You just never know.

And because you don’t know, you want to take in all you can when you can. You want to make use of every opportunity to be outside, soaking in the bright hues strewn across the fields. You want to postpone other “important” things just to stare at that gigantic red tree in someone else’s yard for just another half hour.

Because tonight? The wind might pick up and blow in a snowstorm and those beautiful leaves that cause your breath to catch in your chest might be annihilated by the first, enchanting snowfall. You know that you’ll want to mourn the loss of fall, but it would be hard to embrace sadness standing in the middle of a world now pristine and sparkling in the cold, winter sun. Winter is, after all, glorious in its own right. It’s no fall, but it is wildly breathtaking nonetheless.

This is life to me. It has a beginning and an end, but both are a surprise. You want it to last forever, but it won’t. So we try to soak in every minute of the glory while it still exists. We make time to be alive, instead of merely accomplish tasks and acquire accolades. Because we are aware of its brevity, we are bolder about what we want, who we want, why we want. We don’t stand back, waiting for life to invite us to come out and play. We run out the doors and jump into a pile of leaves and laugh wildly as we pick them out of our hair. We don’t need an invitation – the invitation is that life exists. We take all we can now. We’re weather-stained, but we’re at peace. We breathe in as deeply as our lungs will allow, we exhale as long as it takes to let go of our penchant for control and worry, and we bask in the glory of what could be a short week, or the best month the world’s ever seen.

We’re a sight for sore eyes, because we’re not afraid to die. We know that the closer we get to death, the more glorious our lives become. When we’re presented with harsh weather, we’ll discover that we’re not just another green tree. No, our leaves burn bright red; we are an unexpected wonder. When we don’t run from living, from breathing, from dying, we discover all that we can be.

And the whole world won’t be able to look away. Because we. will. be. glorious.