My Journey into Fall

My Journey into Fall


by Erika Ginnis

I have had a love-hate relationship with autumn my entire life. It meant the end of summer: no more swimming, sunning, sleeping in. It was the end of the magickally long days, light until 10 p.m., dinner at 9. The particular song of the robin singing at dusk, sleeping bags laid out under the stars that were counted and drawn together with my finger, the silhouette of houses and trees barely noticed in my peripheral vision.

The call of “What’s to come?” has always been strong for me; whether to run to it or from it is my dilemma.

In late summer, the next grade loomed large. I hugged those warm twilight nights frantically, but my eye was already wandering; the promise of new clothes, plaid skirts and white pages beckoned.

I never counted my years in January (I wonder which of us really does) but from September to September. There is so much potential in the unknown, and that’s when I would feel it the most, looking forward to something that I still can’t put a name to, with both fear and excitement.

Years later, August in Seattle, the leaves shine buffed and waxed like the cars of my childhood. Then all at once, not at all gradually, there is a change. It always happens, and it always surprises me. Overnight, the color shifts, contains an undercoat of something new, something that wasn’t there the day before. The air is different somehow. You can feel it through the heat, standing behind the glistening days. Then there’s no going back. Like the moment just after you’re off the high dive, on that long inevitable journey to the water.