The dark fall to light

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I’ve often thought that this time of year deserves its own special brand of romanticism. That it must only be captured in golden light, with a breeze and crisp crunch of a leaf. It’s these months that I think most of you, paths seem to wind and my mind begins to spin and in spite of everything around me dying, the world seems full of new beginnings. There are pockets of possibility, of promise and potential. For the time being I am self-assured. I trust the path I’m walking and I wish you well on yours. In those brief few hours, before the suns early set, the world is warm, and I am safe in its amber tones.

But this is no ordinary time. Once the sun sets and the gold fades, the night draws in, obsessively, closer with each passing day. Dropping temperatures, starless skies. I start to wonder if you ever wish my stars away as I do of yours…if you wish for me at all. Then the once inviting warm haze becomes sharp, each of its beams cutting like glass, burning through me, pushed by the sting of the swirling breeze. The search to find trust in the fall becomes desperate, my desperation fueling my failure. I never thought of what you took from the season, I never thought much of you, not out of wanting. My self-assurance set with the sun and I see the wicked side of Autumn. A wickedness that has lived with me for three years. It’s not about the stories, or the memories; it is visceral emotion that haunts me most. Yet I feel addicted to it, dependent upon it, and unaware of which is worse.

Then, I see the sunrise. I bathe in the tones, the red and gold lights trickle down my cheeks, the beams pass through my hair. I remember softness and fall into its embrace. I’m reminded once more of the romantic daylight. That there is sanctity from the drowning nights, but it is not for me to live in, for now I also see the darkness which fuels it. Perhaps that is why I so often thought this time of year deserved its own special brand of romanticism. For it needs one which embraces the fear. That encompasses the darkness. I will never be spared from the pain nor the night, but I can remember this season, and all its early sunsets and starless skies, in a warm hue of burning, amber light.

Illustration by Alicja Sek

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