Why do we call it fall?

2008 October 1
by David J. Ringer

DUNCANVILLE, TEXAS — Late-afternoon sun hit the juniper, where two tiny bodies flitted through shadows. Ruby-crowned Kinglets, the first of the year. A soft call had given them away; otherwise, I might not have seen them at all.

This place is changing. Slowly, subtly, but surely. The sun is still hot, but the breeze is cool. Sumacs are reddening, and winged elms are yellowing. Kinglets have returned.

When you’re always changing hemispheres, seasons can start to lose their grip on you. July no longer means summer; April no longer means spring. Even to say it sounds heretical. But it’s true.

The intersections of place and time and self are what matter now; no dimension can be ignored. To find or create those intersections is to search. What happens then is serendipity.

When a mayfly landed on my hand, I welcomed it. I marveled at its bulging eyes, its tattered wings, supple abdomen, remarkably long cerci. The fragile creature hadn’t long to live, or to put it another way, its intricately constructed body would soon succumb to chaos. And so I imagined some sort of mutual comfort in the encounter between its body and mine.

Had the little creature already delivered its eggs or its sperm somewhere safe? I hoped so.

I imagined a dying mayfly host joining chickadees and ragweed in autumn’s anthem: On a particip√© √† l’√©volution!

Autumn might be sadder/more beautiful if it weren’t so beautiful/sad.

Related posts:

  1. A different kind of fall
  2. The curtain call
  3. Fall
  4. Taste of winter, taste of fall
  5. Intersections
3 Responses
  1. October 2, 2008

    That is marvelous, beautiful to the point of true knowing (said because I live in Dallas and immediately can relate to these sights, these sounds, these experiences; but equally so because your writing deserves credit for its bounty of imagery and emotion).

    I miss this kind of writing when you go jaunting about the globe (although then I jealously envy such jaunting…).

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