Leaves

"Every time you write, you dive, headlong, into the unknown."

Today is the equinox, marking the passing between summer and fall. While September is a time of celebration (birthdays, more birthdays, and even more birthdays), I also feel a different energy starting to creep in. It's cooler. I need socks. My summer weekends on the go go go are winding down. It's time for reflection and expressing gratitude for where I am, rather than so much of seeking something elsewhere.

Growing up in Northern California, fall meant a little bit of rain, goosebumps on my plaid skirt-clad legs, and daylight savings time complicating tennis practice hours.

I spoke recently with a New England transplant who is just baffled at the "seasons" in California. "But what about leaves? But when does it get cold? But why?" I could understand her confusion. There are no changing leaves here. Instead, the change comes from within.

The leaves in New England are a fleeting thing of beauty. While I never jumped headfirst into a pile, I still had a grand old time crunching, documenting, and sighing in and around the golden, red, and amber leaves. I returned to Vermont two years ago for homecoming and found myself early one morning in the passenger seat of a dear friend's car with a cardamom bun warming my stomach and a piping hot cappuccino in my palms. I nearly cried as I took a time lapse video on my iPhone, pressed up against her smudged windshield, passing through a tunnel of extraordinary leaves, holding on for dear life until the first fierce winds came to knock them down.

That's perhaps the thing that intrigues me the most about the changing of the leaves – how temporary it all is. How transitory it all is. For a few weeks or a few days, there is this perfectly vibrant expression of nature that makes you wonder how you ever lived in a place where you didn't have the opportunity to experience it.

And then, it's all gone.