I am in the Autumn of my life. Deep Autumn. People laud Spring, praising it for its burgeoning life and promise. My Spring was shit. Actually, Spring into early Summer was shit. Death and alienation. Travelling through the season(s) like an astronaut enclosed in my own life-support vehicle, observing only, not interacting, except negatively, of course. Ah, but Summer! Summer was different.
Summer was when I connected with life. Rich and redolent, fragrant with the scent of joy and happiness. Promise? Hell, yes! Promise fulfilled. The warmth and comfort of Summer embraced me and let me blossom. Ronnie was/is my Summer. MJ and Chloe, too. Lovely, lovely Summer. Bright, warm, contented Summer. Best of seasons. Loveliest of seasons. But everything comes to an end eventually.
I am in the Autumn of my life. Ronnie is still in the heart of her Summer. The girls are just leaving Spring. But I’m in deep Autumn. I appreciate their seasons. I take great joy in their seasons. And because of them, Summer lingers for me. I feel it still enfolding me in its warmth and brilliance. But I smell hints of Winter.
Honestly, I’m jealous of Ronnie and the girls. It’s sad and petty of me and I feel guilty about it; but that doesn’t make it untrue. I’m glad the girls have had a charming Spring. And my Summer with Ronnie and them has been exquisite. I love Summer. I think Autumn will be fine. Probably. But I dislike Winter.
That surprising chilly disquietude, sneaking in from the edge and cutting Summer’s beneficence. The intimation of frost, not here – yet – but coming. Oh yes, coming. And soon, too soon. The smell of ice and freezing fog. Arthritis more transcendent than nascent.
I am afraid of Winter.
I love(d) my Summer and want it to be eternal. It can be, but only in thought and memory – Huginn and Muninn. Like Baldur, everything in reality has its mistletoe. In the real world, Winter is inevitable, inescapable. I expect Autumn to be pleasant, a lovely extension of Summer. An evolution, perhaps. Summer after exposure to a mutagenic event. But it is not Summer itself. It is Autumn. I might hope for a respite, an idyll of Indian Summer. Yes. That would be nice. But not something to be counted on. A serendipitous accident. What can be counted on is Autumn itself and nothing more. And I need to relax and enjoy it.
But I am still afraid of Winter. Just as Spring is embraced as the season of hope and life and growth, Winter is shunned as the season of despair and death and the end of things. Rightly so. Or perhaps not. Is Winter’s nature inherently despicable or is that our imposed value judgment on it? The latter I think. Of course, that doesn’t obviate the fact that Winter is the season of death. Despair, however, is optional. Probably. Death is not.
But it’s not Winter yet and I don’t want to dwell on that season. Too much. Autumn, Autumn is my concern. I desire a pleasant Autumn, not a fearful, deteriorating one. Aestas aeterna. Kind of. The lingering, long afternoon of Summer, segueing into my Autumn, overwhelming the adumbrations and intimations of Winter’s night.
I want to enjoy Autumn. I desire to hear the songs of Autumn with receptive ears. To smell the odors of Autumn with a willing nose. To touch the changing leaves of Autumn with tender hands. I’m trying to. But I don’t feel that. Not right now. And I don’t want to fear Winter. Even Winter can contain isolated pearls of joy and happiness on its long string leading to The End of Things. And, again, that’s after Autumn, still a way away. But Autumn is here and Autumn…
I think that today I’m just in a bad mood.