Aesthetically, it’s been a rather unsatisfying fall. It seemed as if the trees put off changing color until the very last moment, until they had to give in and undress themselves like estranged lovers whose passion has been dulled by repetition and familiarity and no longer feel compelled to ritual. But that could have just been me; maybe I’m remembering forgone foliage as being longer, slower, more subtly sequential than it really was and now have come to expect that which never existed only in the embellishment of memory. It just feels too soon for the trees to be skeletons, for their branches to already be just gray, spindly nerves set against gray skies, apologizing, already, even though the dead should never have to apologize.
But this is the season, this is autumn, a long, softly eloquent apology that you don’t quite understand why you’re being given until the first chills of wintery silence let you know that it’s gone. It is beautiful because it is fey. It is the sudden and generous show of passion and vibrance from a lover who wanted to give you one last evening of happiness before packing bags and slipping out into the night secretly into the night once you fell asleep. The apology is disguised because we just wouldn’t understand why it must be, why life must leave us. And we’ll wake up to an absence, to chilled silence and a softly howling wind outside. And we’ll wait in bed for it to come back to us, to come home, sprawled across ruffled sheets, staring at ceilings. We’ll wait for months.