Fall season awakens sense of wonder, opportunities for reflection


Juan Diaz

Fall officially ends around mid-December.

Have you ever met an individual that is so matter-of-factly themself that it is comforting? This is how I perceive autumn, simply bursting with distinct, unapologetic expression. Autumn is undoubtedly the most alluring season and, although not necessarily warm, it is the warmest for the soul.

If the weather were a grand scale of serenity, tumult and all that lies between, autumn tips each side to perfect equilibrium. It is warm enough to enjoy an afternoon outside, with just the right amount of cold to detect the seasonal shift. It urges you to go out and explore a world absent of summer’s heat and winter’s biting chill, giving way to pursuits like hiking, camping or writing about your outdoor observations.   

We all possess socially reinforced perspectives of what autumn should be: landscapes brimming with vivid vegetation at the brink of baring, cider, scarecrows, gold-saturated fields and cool breezes a lovely counter to the warm cup of coffee in your hand.

These are all wonderful images, yet the beautiful thing about Fall is that it has a way of adapting to whatever setting you may find yourself in. This is especially evident in seasonal and holiday ornamentation. Our society greets the season warmly, as universal autumnal symbols of pumpkins, knit sweaters and bountiful cornucopias litter public spaces, homes and businesses.

Autumn abounds with tradition, with annual activities ranging from navigating haunted houses, to hosting potlucks with friends, to pondering all that you are thankful for. Such activities bring you closer to those around you as you commemorate the season together. Not to mention the celebration of Halloween and Thanksgiving, two of the most animated and socially binding holidays of them all.

Whether walking the busy streets of a place like New York City, or lounging among the relaxed charm of central Texas, the universal symbols endurean indication that summer has departed and made way for a bit of magic. These symbolic associations remind us just how strong nature’s influence on us is.  

Writers, poets and artists alike have contemplated the mysterious essence of fall since the dawn of its existence. They often describe it as the year’s actual new beginning, contrary to the common belief of the new year holding that title. After all, “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall,” as author F. Scott Fitzgerald famously wrote.

Romantic art focuses heavily on the evocation of emotion and feeling, as well as ambiance and mood. I mention this because during autumn, you often find yourself walking into a romanticism painting not to say that the season is a continuous stroll through a forested, John Constable-esque landscape, but that something as simple as walking out of your front door and seeing the hazy reds, yellows and oranges of the leaves can feel dream-like. The mundane suddenly becomes atmospheric.

Certain music is intensified during this season, as autumnal musical elements are quite easy to recognize, putting word and sound to the frequently indescribable feeling it evokes. For instance, the sound of crunching leaves, crackling fire or hymnal, wind-mimicking voices. Featured is a playlist of songs full of these very elements.

Autumn is the golden hour of the year a placid, imagery-rich time of reflection prior to the pressing end-of-the-year countdown. Yes, schoolwork and responsibilities tend to be in overdrive at this time, but profound beauty can be discovered within the bouts of reflection; the moments of silent appreciation. Shorter days force you to acknowledge them more, and take advantage of the transient daylight. It becomes a valid reason to get up, begin your day and accomplish the tasks at hand.

While it is sad that this time of year is fleeting, other seasons are necessary as well. Autumn reminds us of the impermanence of life, shifting our focus to the present and all its wonder. You must, time and time again, be taken away from it in order to recognize, appreciate and miss this special season. It is a time to look forward to, a time in which you can replenish, revitalize and renew. If the season itself does not implore you, then I will: bask in the hope and natural inspiration that the world has to offer.