Sunday, September 20, 2009

Autumn

"the season between summer and winter comprising in the northern hemisphere usually the months of September, October, and November or as reckoned astronomically extending from the September equinox to the December solstice - called also fall"

It's not a very eloquent definition for a season filled with poetic possibilities, but that doesn't matter for anyone who's ever experienced fall in New England - they already know the magic that accompanies the crisp air and the crunch of fallen leaves beneath your feet. They're familiar with the striking contrast of a bright blue sky with pristine white clouds and trees whose tops have transformed from the deep green of summer to brilliant hues of orange, red and yellow - as if God decided to set the forests ablaze. Someone who's experienced fall will understand the comfort that comes with scarves and cozy sweaters, hands wrapped around a cup of warm cider (or perhaps the delicious pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks). They'll thrill in the thought of going to an autumn festival or apple picking, their tastebuds yearning for a slice of homemade pie (apple, pumpkin, pecan...).

If you know Autumn, you know of all these things, and you know about transition - one season to the next. Summer disappearing in the rearview mirror as a "Welcome to Fall" sign appears ahead. If you know Autumn, you know about change. The only constant. A companion you can rest assured will never leave. 

It seems fitting that the post which brings me back to my jottings on "Easy Dreaming, Girl" is connected to change, with both the seasons and myself. 

As I sit here inhaling the autumn breeze that's drifting in through my open window, I can't help but think about how very different - how changed - I am from the girl who last posted 9 months ago. I know most of the changes are for the better. But others I'm still trying to grasp, as I feel some of my friends and even family are too.

I was uncertain then, when I wrote that final post sitting in a hostel in India. There's no way I could have known at that moment all of the experiences I would be handed - all of the adventures (you can read about them here). The wonderful, spectacular, beautiful, sometimes painstaking moments. I couldn't have known that an entire country would take hold of my heart and refuse to give it back, even when I reluctantly boarded a plane 5 months later with teardrops stinging my eyes. 

To say I haven't changed would be a completely deluded thought on my part. I'm more contemplative now. I feel content in some ways, yet discontented in others. Things I considered fun before don't strike a bit of interest and vice versa. There are even certain relationships I no longer feel the same about - people who's tastes are too different. It's harder for me to be okay with immature actions. I think I view things from a steadier standpoint.

I guess it's just that I entered one airport a young adult and stepped out of another grown. "More responsible" comes to mind - budgeting, caring for myself, grocery shopping (with a well thought out list!), trying to solve problems on my own without running to my mother... so many little things that add up to a changed person, one that even friends and family have commented on.

Sometimes the change in me is frustrating. Things would be easier if I could just enjoy the activities I used to, or spend time with the same people and find their company as pleasing as before. But change doesn't stop for anyone. The seasons will always come and go. Summer fades to fall and fall cools to winter. Then winter warms with spring, whose gentle touch prepares for summer once again. The changing seasons, working seemlessly together, help remind me that change doesn't really mean I'm not the same person I was before. Summer is still summer even though it switches into fall. The impending transition doesn't make summer fake.

I'm still the same girl, even though the seasons of my life have altered. Keeping that in mind helps me remember who I am as a whole, and who I am as a whole is a collection of all my views in the past, my views today and my views to come.  Four seasons make a single year. All of the seasons of my life make a single person. So when I'm worried being grown means I can no longer believe in fairy tales and princesses, shooting stars and butterflies, looking out my window at the Autumn sunshine helps me remember. 

2 comments:

Chase said...

such a beautiful allegory to autumn. Thank you for sharing with us your "wonderful, spectacular, beautiful, sometimes painstaking moments." You know I've loved every one.

And I feel just as you do! The content-but-discontent. The same-person-yet-not. Such a curious adventure, leaving and coming home.

But as you said, "Seasons."

RNSANE said...

Your writing is beautiful. I am sure your life is so busy, though, young college student that you are to be keeping up with blogs! I am glad you have found much to keep you busy and content with returning to the U. S. but I hope, perhaps,we may run into each other in India one of these days. Of course, if you ever visit San Francisco you must be in touch!