People talk about how much they love the autumn season, with its pumpkins and colored leaves and frosty mornings. I stare at them with horrified incredulity. Everything dies in autumn. The trees lose their beautiful leaves and become skeletons. The temperature plunges from pleasantly warm to icy cold. There are many things I’ll never understand in this life—the precise theological nature of the Trinity, the popularity of the Twilight novels, trigonometry—and why people like autumn is one of them.
When I first came to Indiana, I knew autumn was coming. I expected the leaves to turn bright colors and fall from the trees. What I didn’t expect was for all green to vanish, leaving behind murky browns and grays.
“I love autumn,” said someone during my first semester of college.
It seemed like a good time to share my observations about the season. “Everything is dying,” I pointed out.
“You clearly don’t understand,” I replied, speaking very slowly. “Everything is dying. The grass and the trees. Dying. There’s frost every morning. It’s really, really cold. And people put up hideous Halloween decorations.”
“It’s autumn, Adam. It happens every year.”
“And you like autumn?”
He nodded, and I was left to shake my head and wonder.
Autumn isn’t all bad. It’s fun to see carved pumpkins on front porches. The sudden ubiquity of pumpkin pie is wonderful. Autumn is the season of Thanksgiving, and the Christmas season draws steadily nearer. I’m willing to concede that autumn has its blessings. I just don’t like the cold, or the tawdry Halloween decorations, or the tendency of beautiful green things to die.
Are you an autumn person? If so, maybe you can bring me a little closer to unraveling the inexplicable mystery of why people actually like the autumn season.