I’ve recently come to realize that one of the greatest gifts in my life is the daily walk that I take with my dog — in the 95 degree weather, the 50 degree weather, and, soon to come, the 20 degree weather. Despite dreading putting on my shoes and pulling on my jacket, it has become the necessary and forced break in my day that allows me some precious moments of quiet contentment. I have walked my dog down the same few routes every day, and every day I watch the world around me gradually embark on its cycle of life. The vibrancy of summer with kids home from school and friends walking to their favorite restaurant, to the quiet hum of winter, as it bleeds into spring with its refreshing wind and blinding snow.
Between the extremes of heat and cold, we find this beautiful season that we currently sit in — fall. Fall — which in so many ways represent the coming of death, the anticipation of loss as the leaves fall off the trees and the animals and bugs begin to retreat — has reminded me again and again of the beauty to be found in the face of loss and despair. Every single year, everything around us dies. And what do we do? We sweep up the shriveled lifeless leaves into a pile and leap. We pose with decomposing pumpkins that we’ve gutted and stabbed into art. So much of what we enjoy about this spirited season is a result of loss, of death, of decay. Of accepting the circle of life as it is, and trusting in the universe to bring it all back to us after a few brutal months.
Every fall, I prepare for what comes. I pack away my breezy summer clothes and dig around for my thick coat and scarf, and I plan for the mornings that I will be snowed into my home and frozen solid as I wait for my car heat to kick in. And in these preparations, I accept the inevitable. I accept the coming cold, the loss, the death, the decay. And I think to myself about the loss, the death, and the decay that I prepare for in my real life — with my friends, my family, even within myself — and I understand that there is a quiet acceptance of the circle of life inside of me. Whether lost to me by death or by distance, by distance in miles or in heart, all around me will come and will go. And there is a profound beauty (should you choose to see it) in that loss and heartache. I understand by admiring the striking colors in those shriveled lifeless leaves, rather than fearing the shriveled and lifeless nature of them, I can also admire the circle of life in all forms.
People wonder why fall is my favorite season beyond summer, or spring (rarely does anyone ask about winter), and that is my answer. It is because fall serves as the worlds reminder to us, that if we refocus and trust in the inevitability of the way of the world, we will find the light in even the darkest of circumstances. But don’t get me wrong, I am no pro at this myself — despite all of the reflections and realizations that the gift of our walks has brought me, I will still audibly groan every single time I pull on that jacket and put on my shoes.
Aleena serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Dreamer By Night Magazine, and as a lifelong writer, she is grateful that her work and passion intersect. Aleena is an avid reader and loves trying new things, including painting badly and losing at chess to her husband. She also thanks you for taking the time to check out Dreamer By Night, and hopes you enjoyed it!