Summer crawls into autumn, a slow but poised walk into a natural world different not solely in terms of weather. Mother Nature lays out the differences the season brings about in the colours of the sky, leaves, flowers, and even in the coats of wild birds and animals.
Summer evenings change to autumnal nights. The sun sets early, so you can no longer take a walk in the park at 7 o'clock in the evening. In autumn, by that hour of the day, the western sky begins to clothe in indigo.
A curtain begins to draw on the world. The outside temperature also starts to dip rather quickly. And the bedroom windows, which you kept open on warm July evenings, need to be shut tight.
You wish you could squeeze more hours into the day, but because that cannot be done, you try to spend evenings at home, reading or listening to music over a cup of steaming caffeinated drink. On a cosy autumn evening, you tell yourself that life is not too bad, even though days would soon be all gusty and slushy. Who does not know that autumn beckons winter!
Autumn is a short-lived season, though. Once the leaves start falling off trees, they fall like rain from the heavens above — in an uncountable number. The falling leaves bid farewell to sweet summertime and greet autumn with a rich array of colours: gold, amber, auburn, cider, and burgundy as far as the eye can see. The trees, which were lush green only a month ago, are now tinged with crimson and butterscotch.
Falling leaves gilded in gold do not only cover the green grass, but also the grey asphalt of the city streets. With every passing car, the strewn leaves of maple, oak and sycamore fly about, landing in silence on the windshields of parked cars in streets and driveways.
The fallen leaves of autumn are collected and bagged by homeowners for their disposal as yard waste. A neighbour raking up red and gold leaves is therefore a common sight at this time of the year. On the leaf-strewn ground, squirrels scurry about, burying and hiding acorns in places they deem safe. Animals and birds, too, prepare for the cold weather upon the arrival of autumn. It's a busy season for everyone.
The picture book perfect season will soon bid us goodbye. Some goodbyes are painful. You stare long and hard at the closed door. I sink into a melancholic state every time autumn bids me farewell, for it means that the cold-grey days assuming the name winter are waiting on the other side of the door to be my guest. Although unwelcome, I have to open my door to her.