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It subtly creeps up on me, the way the leaves change color. I suppose during summer's end I'm caught up in too many things to notice the slight fading of green from the treetops: first the maples, then the oaks, and finally the old copper beech down the road. The days grow shorter and shorter, and waning sunlight forces the trees to shed their leaves, but before that, for a few months, I get to enjoy the beauty of fall. By the time I can see the frost on my breath, the world is filled with all shades of red, yellow, and orange, a vibrant explosion of color.
Fall is a time of change, a period of transition. The tempering cool of the autumn wind alleviates the heat of summer and breathes new life into the world. Everything seemingly moves in slow motion as the dappled leaves spiral to the ground. I almost feel guilty stepping on the beautiful carpet of color, to disturb such a perfect scene. Upon the realization of fall, I often stand still in admiration, letting the wind breathe new life into me as well. It's a time of inspiration, a time of freedom.
The air is crisp and clear, the muggy humidity of summer nonexistent. This kind of clarity soothes my mind and lets my thoughts flow. In solitude among the falling leaves, my thoughts are everything but quiet; they wander freely like the leaves in the wind, flipping and tumbling without a care in the world; with no idea when, where, or if they will land at all. I think fall reminds us that we're all like leaves in the wind. We don't really know where our destinies will lead, but with each passing moment those destinies evolve. Ten years from now, I'll look back as a very different person than I am now: that's life. And, the paths I choose will continue to form and shape who I become as a man, as a person.
It's all very uncertain, being tossed up in the air; I think that's why fall is the season of spirituality; everybody tries to search for some kind of universal constant, something concrete to latch onto.
During this time I always find myself thinking out loud.
Does the universe have an end?
Is there a spiritual being beyond us?
What happens after I die?
Are religions correct or are they just humanity's creation to substitute as some form of hope?
I mean, I don't always think so deeply, but questions like those do arise.
I can never seem to find the answers.
A lot of times it boils down to interpretation.
Sometimes it's as simple as, "What is the most important thing in life?"
I feel like a hopeless romantic, watching these leaves spiral to the ground and thinking big thoughts. After all, they are only dead pieces of foliage destined to become part of the soil, and so are my thoughts in a way. Well, my thoughts aren't dead pieces of foliage, but someday I'm going to die, and my thoughts aren't really going to matter in the grand scheme of life, the universe. I keep returning to that topic, the universe. It's so vast and mysterious, far to enormous to comprehend - or is it? Is there some kind of simple truth to it all? Or are we just leaves spiraling aimlessly in the wind that will eventually fall to the ground?
I can't help grinning and rolling my eyes when I listen to myself talk. Just look at me, throwing out teenage emotion philosophy and lofty spiritual concepts. I feel like some kind of stuffy-nosed preacher. That's not what fall is about. Sure, it's a season of change, but it's also a season of simplicity. What is important now, in the present? For me, it's my family, friends, the people who support me; those are the things that matter. Sometimes we get so detached from the concrete, tangible things that affect our lives. Just take a moment to stop and consider the people around you, to consider life changing everywhere you look. It's like a watercolor painting continuously evolving and never ending. Just take a moment, a fraction of a second, to simply close your eyes and imagine the leaves spiraling to the earth at your feet as you breathe in the fresh, autumn air.
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