Fall has always been a favorite of mine, and lately I've truly been contemplating why this is. Other than the obvious celebrations fall brings (Halloween, my birthday, Thanksgiving), this time of the year is always packed full of the festivities I like best (fairs, Oktoberfest, orchards, corn mazes). But I've also always enjoyed this time of year when the leaves change color on the trees and the temperature is just perfect enough to wear jeans and a cozy sweater. For those of you who haven't had the opportunity to experience fall in the Northeastern United States, you're seriously missing out on something beautiful.
But fall also is the most symbolic of life itself. It's the time of year when life has finally begins the beautiful process of death. You see, that's the reason why I love fall so much. While it's beautiful to see the colors and admire the weather of fall, it's also lovely to enjoy the last fleeting moments of a great year before we hunker down for the winter. Fall reminds us that there are still things to be enjoyed, despite the days with waning sunlight and the chillier weather to come. "Autumn [is] the year's last, loveliest smile."
Imagine if we actually lived our lives were like this: moments gathered, marked to be the final ones before our demise. These moments become extraordinary, beautiful, special, and treasured because we know we won't get to experience them again. For once, we're aware that death is what makes life so special.
The question I have is: Why aren't we treating life like this? Aren't we living in one perpetual moment of autumn? So here's my proposition: Embrace it. Enjoy it. Because these fleeting moment are the only ones we have.
"The Beauty of the Dying"
At 2,400 feet, I rise about the treetops.
Beneath me, a valley ablaze with yellows, golds, oranges, red, and shades of evergreens.
The breeze whips around me
and I feel the crisp air sink into my bones.
The unique smell of decaying leaves fills the sky.
I've hiked here to have a better view,
so I could see the leaves change color in all their
And now on this hilltop,
This is life,
but more importantly,
this is death.
Only when things are about to die,
do we stop to admire the beauty they've had all along.