Saturday, October 16, 2010


It is autumn, and I am sad.

But it is a softening sadness, a sinking into the crust of the earth before the snow sort of sadness. It is a sadness I need, a cycle I understand. I walk through city streets and feel the world shutting down for the winter, the air closing in with chill, the sky going grey, the trees letting go. I shove my hands in my pockets and listen to the same three songs, every year. I walk with wisdom, the summer languor setting bones, my steps slower, more even, my softening gaze.

I think maybe I live backwards. Ever since high school, in perfect Pioneer Valley New England farmland, I have come to love this time of year. Because it brought sweaters and scarves and hot steaming coffee, hours spent in drafty classrooms or overheated libraries, surrounded by books, searching for transcendence—eating the pomegranate, accepting the escort to the Underworld, and finding the fire within to light up the night.

It gets cold, too cold. Things get hard. It hurts more when you fall. More knees are skinned, and tights are scraped by bloody knees. The night is longer, lonelier. The stars pierce the firmament. The moon hangs heavy and far away.

I need this and I don't know why. I feel a pheonix-like affinity for the dying and the coming back. I imagine I will sprout from the frozen cobblestones come Spring, a newly reincarnate something green.

The cold is calming. I fight my quiet battles with a little added peace. And so, some pieces fall into place without event, a path emerges through the Ramble in the park. A place to live, a thing to do, a plan.

Some days are better than others. Some friends show up in ways I never knew. I am grateful, even as I flounder. I achieve the seemingly impossible: in certain moments, things aren't all wrong.


Bathwater said...

Very seldom do we walk alone. Winter is no all sleep and slumber.

Hannah Miet said...

"sinking into the crust of the earth before the snow sort of sadness."


Phoenix said...

I think us Phoenixes love change more than most...

I grew up in NH and every year I pine for fall. Here in SoCal we don't get it very often so when I find a crunchy leaf, or the skies grow dark and full with rain, or the air nips at my face... I get nostalgic and sad, but a good kind of sad. A cleansing sad, because it's part of the cycle.

Also, I may have missed the point of this post entirely, but now I'm curious: which three songs do you listen to?