Today was the first day that positively breathed fall when you went out into it, and that seems like a good enough reason to write.
Sometimes, my fingers are restless in the way that demands words be ordered, and yet, all the blankness before me stands victor for many minutes. It’s an odd feeling, perhaps as if you knew you needed to run, and you wanted to run, but you can’t quite figure out how to tie your tennis shoes. (I call them tennis shoes despite the fact that I had my single encounter with a tennis racket when I was 9, and as you can imagine, nothing flew that was really supposed to, but I digress.)
Anyway, my mind both fills and empties at warp speed as I course through the different moments and feelings and desires and fears that weave me together on any given day. “Too boring,” and I cross that off; “Too heavy,” and it goes in the save-for-later bin; “Too much about other people,” and I shove it back where it came from; “Not a good reason to write,” and I stop myself. It’s a great reason to write, if it’s something you can write about, because writing forces just aren’t always hanging around like the pesky dryer sheets I find all over the house. Sometimes it’s not there; sometimes, as if it were a skittish cat, I have to coax it out from under the couch. And so suddenly “Today was the first day that positively breathed fall when you went out into it” becomes something to spend my words on.
Here, I have to try to deconstruct what it is that makes that statement matter, although everyone knows it does–why, if I had a latte for every Facebook status declaring today’s brisk breeze, I’d be really, really caffeinated. I mean, more than usual. Why do we care? Is it fall, or is it something else? I think it’s both, but don’t take my word for it before I give you a reason to do such.
It is things we love, things that literally and figuratively wrap us up. You people love your cardigans and your boots and your mittens. You gleefully toss scarves around your neck and cook desserts over an open flame despite the invention of the stove and while you may refrain due to social constructs or the fact that you’re wearing a sweater dress today, you really, really consider jumping in a pile of leaves on the Quad, though you do realize it may be romanticized just a bit (bugs live in there.) Every other order at Starbucks is either a pumpkin spice latte or a caramel apple spice, and there are just about as many Instagrammed photos of Starbucks cups with “PSL” written on them and fall-proclaiming captions. And I’ve never heard anyone diss fall, really, but if they did, I wouldn’t be surprised if a PSL-drinking, fingerless-gloves wearing autumn enthusiast burst into tears.
But every season has its glories: we jump up and down at the very prospect of snow and stockings, do cartwheels at the first signs of spring wildflowers, and declare it perfect when the temperatures finally allow for sun-soaking at the beach. So it’s more than pumpkin spice; it’s the possibility.
I am in love with the feeling of possibility; seriously, it makes me feel electric, a feeling I can identify because I touched a live electric fence once when I was five years old. Suddenly, you are aware of every single cell in your body; it’s as if they’re all jumping up and down and in different directions, shouting, “We’re here!” When the chill hit my face this morning, it coursed through me: a brand-new season. A brand-new feeling. A brand-newness so palpable it splashes around me as if I’m stepping in puddles of it. And all the same, a familiarity settled around me as I became reacquainted with the leaves.
I think if I could bottle up possibility, I could change lives; I think that’s because possibility is really just hope in several more letters. And it falls all around us, like leaves dropping off of trees. It wraps us up, like sweaters knit through and through with the wisdom of your grandma. It hits us in the face like cool, brisk 63 degrees. It makes us feel brand-new.
“But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more.” –Psalm 71:14
Here’s to autumn, and dwelling possibility, and many, many reasons to write.