Praise the Autumn Soul
It’s eight a.m., the crisp autumn air and the oblique sun falling on tall trees, standing on a rusty cover of fallen leaves, make me wonder whether this is heaven. The gentle breeze, the blue sky peeking through the auburn foliage, and the aroma of moist earth below bring reminiscence of a bygone era—an era without tablets, laptops, and scrollable mobile phones. Equally, I’m suddenly taken back to a time before supermarkets, when humans gathered food and stalked it for the upcoming season.
The crunching sound of someone walking on the blanket of leaves comes despite a gurgling brook nearby. Soon, this brook will freeze as the winter spreads its frigid wings. I turn to see and find a squirrel standing motionless, watching me, chewing on an acorn. I’m alone, just a few yards from the cottage, not a human for twenty miles in either direction. It’s 45 F, and my shawl offers enough warmth. The black Columbian coffee in my hand fills my sinuses with a warm, refreshing flavor, and the caffeine brings a jest for life and well-being.
Above, a flock of geese flies south in their monotonous y-shaped formation, honking all the way. I wonder what they are honking about, “Stay in formation!” or just gossiping about others. But don’t they do this in a frequency inaudible to humans? What are they excited about, perhaps greener pastures down south? Probably, it’s an inspirational song, as every member honks in sync.
As the wind blows, another few leaves spiral downwards after serving its tree well during those summer months, soaking up the sun and being the cooks in the family. Now brown and dry, they will rot and decompose, providing more nutrients for their mother tree. I see the mighty tree, touch its bark, and spot a few ants making a line, carrying dead cork to their subterranean home. A few leaves still latch on at the top; most are dry and brown, some orange and some yellow with signs of remnant juice left within. The wiry network of forked branches now looks nuder with every gust of the wind as nature strips its garments.
My cup is empty and needs a refill; I started to walk, thinking about this morning. Perhaps sitting by the fire with a good book comes next. The smell of burning logs brings back memories of my childhood, of warm times with my parents and grandparents. Where did all my springs and summers go? Was I a good human? Did I do well towards my kith and kin? Did I leave something behind for the younglings to learn from? I shudder at the thought of winter approaching with all its gloom. I, too, will be the falling leaf, dry and brown. The world, my tree!