The older I get the more I love autumn and this has nothing to do with the concept of fading away or growing older. I love autumn because it allows me to slow down and appreciate the little joys of few golden days.
When I was little autumn meant getting back from the country and going to school. Not that I didn’t love school. I didn’t love leaving the summer freedom and memories in the past exchanging them for closed classrooms and sometimes even hostile environment. In the country, I was free to roam the fields and river bends, take my bike where not every grown man would at that time, explore the hills and other features of local topography. I was free to torture local librarians with my daily visits. The books I read were my own choice. On the whole, summers were never boring or tiresome.
Unlike the school time. It started with autumn the only recollection of which is that of muddy paths from home to school, gloomy days, artificial lighting in classrooms full of people with some of whom I would rather keep a distance of a lifetime. Older boys from some class were often quite aggressive. Mathematics, physics, PT and all sorts of other subjects tumbled from little fun to no fun at all. English was the only breath of fresh air but it happened too rarely and classes were too short.
We all thought then that it is best to be grown-ups. We secretly asked time to run by quicker so that school remained behind and the adult life embraced us or we embraced it finally. Little did we know that time runs fast without asking. What seemed like a whole forever then is only a short lifespan now, of which half is gone.
Anyway, what I meant to say is that autumns in my schooldays looked gloomy, muddy and dressed in the school uniform. Autumns of now are golden times of Indian Summers and bright colours.
It often happens that quite a lot of days in September and even October are dry, sunny and warm. Nature doesn’t want the summer to go easily. You cannot help but wonder if there are more pleasant days in autumn than summer. The scorching heat is gone, though sometimes you feel like your forehead has again switched on its air conditioning.
The wind kicks first dry leaves rather than sand particles. The air is winterly chilly and therefore fresh in colder mornings, while by late afternoon it is heated enough to make you unzip the coat and hide the cap in the bag.
Sometimes after classes, I pass by the bus stop and keep on going back home. Music runs straight to the centre of my brain and makes me smile to the world. Outside noise gets inside like that of rustling leaves behind the window. I walk engulfed in the world of kindness and joy, where little nuisances are even smaller and non-defining. The sun shines through the lower branches on its way to the sunset line and the air is particularly warm letting me wade through it with open arms.
At times like these duties and whatever work is waiting could all but wait for a bit longer because I let life slower and slower with it. What if I get home half an hour later? These thirty minutes won’t make a difference work-wise but make such big a difference life-wise. This is time completely for myself and not a second is wasted.
On such golden days, I can tell anyone what I was once told by Robert Danos in Camp Mondamin: “Where are you rushing? Stop, sit down, look around and enjoy the moment.”
I’d still walk quickly but via a longer route to enjoy life if just a little longer. I’d look around and smile at the world while some music happens to match my mood in a painfully exact manner. I’d look up at the sun and smile at it sending the rays of my grown-up and finally found practical wisdom towards its rays. I’d feel the leaves rustle under my shoes like all those years have gone by rustling. But there’d be no sorrow at such a moment. Almost none.
I used to feel like autumn was my least favourite season, and for a reason. Now I have plenty of reasons to believe that autumn is one of the finest seasons of the year.