“Autumn to winter, winter into spring, spring into summer, summer into fall,– So rolls the changing year, and so we change; Motion so swift, we know not that we move.” – Dinah Maria Mulock

I experience life with all of my senses. I even taste it with each of the seasons possessing, to me, a distinct flavor. I imagine winter, with its cool crispness and evergreen symbolism, is rosemary. Spring is caraway seed; tangy and fresh. Summer, of course, is saffron–earthy and warm and the color of sunshine.

And autumn–my season– is cinnamon. Rustic, warm and full of surprising depth.  It’s funny how we can find ways of relating one experience to another. Every time fall rolls around, I anticipate its smells and sights and somehow, I guess, even its taste. The seasons pass like the experiences of life; my brain stubbornly clinging to the memories of both like the hindmost autumn leaves that desperately clutch at the branches of the maple tree outside my window each year.

I don’t observe fall, I feel it. It seizes me; tugging me into this ethereal place where the earth shifts and the air that envelops me is steeped in some sort of otherworldly sensation. Autumn is tactile and alive and I allow it to draw me in like a good book. It is the enchanting phase of the earth’s yearly cycle in which the world sits in somber silence waiting for winter to strike bringing its tendency to strip the trees to their bare, skeletal forms and brush the canvas of the sky a chilly gray hue. The world seems to change its clothes, shedding the bright long days of the prior seasons, and casting itself in a woolen coat full of warmth and weight; eliciting a feeling that is somehow both familiar and enticingly enigmatic.

I<3 autumn. It. Is. Magical.

But as neither life nor my blog would be complete without symbolism, we venture into metaphor here.

Life being likened to the changing seasons of the year, is not a new analogy, but I think it bears significance and perhaps therein lies its tendency to be cliche. To further expound upon this ages-old allegory, I imagine that life not only has seasons, but that for each of us they are so individually subjective. That, like those living in various climes, that the seasons of one person’s life maybe drastic, consisting of dramatic differences from one season to the next with frigid winters and blistering summers. Others might have lives that mimic the climates where the year-round temperature is consistently balmy with only subtle distinctions between each passing season.

I am the former, not the latter (as if any of you had any question regarding that.:)) I have seen periods of such startling contrast so as to be distinguished from one another with remarkable ease. One season, which my blessed mind endeavors daily to blur to a distant, if not non-existent state, occurred during my twenties. I don’t remember them too well as it was fraught with a great deal of despair and more than my fair share of heartbreak. Confusion and unrest were the earmarks of this time and I often–as I have in this forum–referred to it as my Dark Ages. A time replete with darkness, a lack of clarity and an inhuman coldness that seemed wont to follow me.  I felt a tiny bit like Eeyore. Woe was me.;)

Winter can be tough. It does seem to drag on, threatening to smother us each within the confines of its persistent chill. The quilt of downy snow that blankets the earth often starts out cozy, but can become oppressive and stifling after it seems to continue for an inordinate amount of time. I felt as though, as a result of life circumstances, the Universe was unfairly expecting me to traverse through the suffocating brume of my life’s winter. It seemed endless and bleak and without reprieve.

Then came my spring. My world awakened with a startling sense of lucidity and purpose clearly defined. I felt as a rush of warmth danced its way across the sleeping ground and tickled the thawing earth to life. My world had awakened from the weary slumber of my darkest winter (knock on wood:)) and I felt…

renewed.

Summer followed in short order and I found myself embracing the evolution of Hollie. Like a fine wine, I’m enduring my seasons as I age to my own personal perfection. Not perfection as in, “flawless,”  but rather my own take on the word: perfection as in, “fullness.”  Me being the best Hollie I can be. I have, after all, no desire to be flawless. I find my imperfections are becoming an endearing part of who I am. Sure, I endeavor to improve myself, but I’m okay with me and I like myself more and more with each passing season. And besides, in the words of Nietzsche, “In heaven, all the interesting people are missing.”;)

So as I stand on the cusp of both the literal Autumn and my own metaphorical one, the question begs, do I dread a coming winter? No, I really don’t.

It’s kind of like the Pilgrims’ first winter in America. They struggled so much having been ill prepared and lacking the skills to cope and endure the onslaught of the harshness of a New England winter. But with the passing seasons, they enacted a system of adaptation and preparation that made the subsequent winters bearable and perhaps, even pleasant. I feel the same about my life.

I feel fall as it creeps into the world again. It stretches its fingers out and clasps the bright drape of summer that shrouds the sky. Pulling the curtain of August back, it reveals the pewter-gray sky of early autumn. The smell of decaying leaves permeates the air as a tiny bite nips at my skin. I feel the temperature as it slowly dips to a more boreal state and the world seems to emit a sleepy yawn. I gather a shawl of experience and, hopefully, wisdom around me and relax as my life continues to evolve. I watch as a peaceful hush settles over the landscape of my life. Who knows, maybe the next few winters will be mild and cozy or maybe I’ll skip them all together. I guess we’ll see…


XOXO


hollie

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.” – Anne Bradstreet



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