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Let it Fall

Autumn has always been an eventful, anxiety-ridden season for me. The days get shorter and that uneasy, sick-to-the-core feeling creeps into my stomach as the new school year closes in. I had been so eager to start kindergarten when I was four, my mom convinced the teacher I should start early. I attended Mrs. Mclean's kindergarten class for two years until I was old enough to go to the 'big school.' When school commenced that first autumn day of Grade One... I was late. My mom must have left me at the door, because all I remember of that first day was sitting outside in the hallway, crying into my brown paper lunch bag until the door opened and my teacher found me. It may have been all of five minutes, but it felt like a week. I am now known in many circles for my lateness, but I have tried to pass it off as a charming idiosyncrasy.

The impending school year is neither the only source of my autumn-anxiety, nor do I consider myself to be alone in this uncomfortable state. I am finished with school, but I still feel the uneasiness. The fall is when all things die: the leaves turn brown and crash to the ground, the wind feels like cold, angry, ghost-breath and the whole world seems to perish underground; leaving us mere mortals up here to face the harsh elements without the help of nature. Look at Halloween: we celebrate death and ghastliness with uninhibited fervour. We encourage our children to dress up as ghouls and zombies and other creatures of the dead (or undead).

Now that I am a grown, educated and an empowered woman, I think my freaky-fall-feeling has more to do with the idea of closure, than general anxiety. The death of things is hard for me. I hate goodbyes and I don't easily let things go. The acceptance and even celebration of the end of a cycle is equally important as the beginning of the same. Every story must have an ending, so we can open a new book with a fresh mind and open heart: out with the old and in with the new. I am always prattling on about change and it is no secret that we teach (or preach) what we ourselves most need to learn.

If I were a tree, I would be an evergreen so I would never have to shed my leaves, but hang on to them tightly as the new growth fit in around the old. I have been trying to visualize myself as a regenerating deciduous, whose leaves turn many colours in the fall and are easily blown across the fields by the wind. My old habits however, seem to rub out these fantasies before I can turn more than one shade of yellow. I water and feed the old until it is once more green and thriving. Die! Die! Bring on the dead, send in your ghosts, your murdered, your zombie nurses, your vampires. I will open the door and let you know what happens.

love leela

Who is Leela Roe? Read her previous articles and find out:


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