Autumn’s Odyssey

Autumn sets in as if it’s unsure if it’s allowed to arrive: it starts unexpectedly, just a knock on the door, and then slowly inches its way in. Once it arrives though, it sweeps in swiftly and pushes the summer out with force, throwing the cicadas and the gratuitous daylight out with it. The way the air feels on my skin changes, as it does every year, from the tingling warmth of a July evening to the satiny crispness of an October afternoon. It smells different, tastes different; the atmosphere is made with a whole new recipe. It’s almost palpable, this new vibe, tickling at the edges of my sensory capabilities. Yet it’s always just out of reach, like the perfect word to describe how a song makes you feel. There are no words that can describe these flavours, these intrinsic emotions that come about from the things that affect us on an untouchable emotional level. So just like every other year, I try to savour the taste of the season changing: I taste the lingering salt from the ocean waves and the sweat rolling onto my lips, quickly fading into the bitter taste of fallen leaves and black coffee. It’s the undetectable sound of the trees exhaling, giving us that fresh air that breathes so much deeper without the stickiness. It’s cold in my lungs, quenching a thirst that no amount of water could satisfy. I taste autumn when I look at the Japanese maple tree in the front yard, standing humble but majestic as its leaves fade from crimson to burgundy and then to brown. That tree always reminds me of the passage of time. Its red leaves scream in defiance of the summer green, as if to say that autumn never truly lives or dies: it simply exists to bridge the gap, between life and death.

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