To me, there is nothing more comforting than the arrival of September. I am at my coziest and most pleasant in a too-big knit sweater, thick colorful socks, and cradling a mug of hot chocolate. I am the person who starts listening to Sinatra's Christmas album as soon as the leaves begin to fall; I am the person with twinkling white lights strung up year-round, who craves pumpkin-themed everything and finds solace in fingerless gloves.
It may still reach 90 degrees throughout the rest of the week, but, regardless, it's the beginning of September, and that switch in season — if only on a technical level — holds a certain significance somewhere within me.
With a shift in temperature comes a shift in environment, a cascading of colorful trees lining the sidewalks that encompass my campus. Saying goodbye to sun-drenched mornings and late-night fireflies means welcoming the onset of blustery evenings and cool hardwood floors. What I'll lack in humid excursions, I'll find in deep puddles and thick scarves.
And then, there is the comparison of twin seasons, this autumn in conjunction with the last. Last September, I was diving headfirst into my senior year of undergraduate classes. I strolled excitedly from class to class, organized beyond belief, feeling unconquerable and weightless and on the very pinpoint top of the world.
Now, I am still prepared, and still breathless with excitement — but as I tiptoe my way into graduate school, a rush of new classes and unfamiliar faces, I am nervous. I may be wrapped in well-known sweaters and surrounded by warm orange and golden, but it is also a new autumn. This is an autumn full of unknowns and small particulars, and it is scattered with future plans and dreams in progress.
Every season, I must know, is a new season. Though we've experienced many winters, springs, summers, and autumns, none have been precisely the same as the one before. There is constant growth, a change in ourselves that reflects a change in our world.
And yet, it is also at the precipice of every new beginning, treading the fine line that joins our past and our possibilities, that we truly realize what is now different, and what is still to come. The enormity of change, a continuous foundation that underlines our every moment, is swiftly and succinctly realized in a single moment.
A leaf, which was just recently verdantly bright, grows crimson, slowly, and whispers its way to the ground — and, in that leaf, I am aware of who am I, and how I am growing, and in which direction my path has begun to whisper.
Welcome, autumn. Curl up inside in the fireplace; breathe your frost along my windowsill. Situate your atmosphere alongside mine — let's settle into our cozy, familiar nook together.