I have always found autumn the most joyful of seasons. By which I mean: fall is the season in which the world explodes in a colorful chaos of vanity, reveling in its pleasure with itself. The poplar and maples don costumes of lemon yellow and gold, flaming orange and crimson, and dance in the newly crisp northerly breezes, brightening even the occasional dreary, gray days. The joy is contagious: that cool air, filling my lungs, invigorates me, and the breeze it comes on tussles my hair, goading me into skipping rather than shuffling down the woodland trails I know so well. And on its best days the autumn sky is so deeply blue and clear that I feel as though if I gaze into it for long enough, with intention, I too might gain clarity. I am grateful for nature’s short moment of conceit, which of course is just joy in being, and that I, too, can revel in it.
I am especially thankful for autumn this year. Like the slow hope that spring brought me as it gently pressed its life-force against the specter of COVID-19 then, fall reminds me now that no matter the palls that hang over us — the persistence of this deadly virus and of our intolerance of one another, the suffering they bring — there is light and kindness and joy to be found, if we are willing to look, and to see.
I am glad that on my woodland rambles I have started to skip, and that I am, again, starting to see.