JAMES CALABRESI ’20
Sniffles, hot chocolate, falling leaves, the mysterious chill of a late night out that can somehow be both felt and smelled at the same time. Yes, my friend, your calendar is not wrong, October did sneak up on you and Fall has officially begun. I can just picture the student body now, wrapped in sweaters and jackets, striding to class with mist in front of our faces as we all pretend we didn’t just let out an extra large breath or purse our lips to make it look cooler. With the greatness of Halloween expeditions and Thanksgiving treats (candy corn) to look forward to, how can this period not be seen as the greatest season to ever exist?
For the sake of argument, let us put aside the magic of pumpkin pie and apple-picking, for, with those flavorful weapons, Fall would win every battle waged. Even without some of the greatest moments, one is hard pressed to manage a take-down of this most magical season. “So how do these haters continue living their miserable lives”, you might ask? Well, friend, they insist that because Autumn is between summer and winter, the biggest opposites, that it somehow lacks individuality. These haters, however, couldn’t be further from the truth, as they are likely ‘Summer Schmuks’, enjoying a crowded trip to the beach or ‘Winter Wonders’, who just burst to explore the hard winter ways of snow and ice.
However, what their single-mindedness fails to realize is that the respective seasons are simply opposite binary ends to the most boring spectrum imaginable. One example that explains this well is how we treat ourselves after a long day out, by embracing opposites. Summer Schmuks use full blast air conditioning after a hot day out in June to ease their rising choler while Winter Wonders layer up under a thermostat set somewhere between 70 and 80 degrees (calm down international students, I mean Fahrenheit) after a gloomy day spent trudging through snow drifts. Both summer and winter are two sides of a coin which are unimaginable when seen for what they are.
“So how then”, I assume you ask, “do the haters continue to deny Autumn Pricipality as incontrovertible as those heavenly Trader Joe’s Pumpkin muffins? Well, my sniffly, much-inneed-of-a-pumpkin-latte, friend, they use the spritely energy of spring to rebut and undermine. Exclaiming, “spring is the season of growth and rebirth”, they commit the highest of sins by reasoning that Autumn is the death month when, “all the trees die.” To these mere mortals, pay no care, for only in this apparently-fatal death of our greenery can one find the true rebirth of one’s life and of the world. Facing the dread of a winter to come and relentlessly plowing ahead is one of the more noble feats one can accomplish. Spring is so insistent in its effusivity (that’s not a word, but I made it up in the spirit of spring, which does whatever it wants, thank you very much) that Autumn in comparison feels like it is the decay season, a slow degradation of from the glorious heights of the rare good summer day.
But don’t let this trick fool you. If Summer and Winter are the two sides of a coin, Spring is a teenager spinning the coin on their desk at the speed of sound. Unlikely to stop, yet inevitable, its movement represents the dynamisms of life, getting to know new friends, nature hikes, and sex. Autumn would be the coin falling on its edge and then slowly rolling to eventually fall with the winter side-up.
Yet, even as one views this place of patience and harmony as simply another stepping stone, remember that in our naturally binary lives, we only see extremes and cannot distinguish one time from another. Thus, Autumn exists only as a Zen monk can, with no selfishness or self, but for its own sake. You may tell yourself as you find yourself buying the 20 plus pumpkin variations of everyday foods that it starts to go overboard at times, but does it really?
Now, I know the ‘Spring Souls’ will find my characterization of the second season to be overly harsh and not as positive as it could have been about such a fresh and sexy time, so, for them I have saved my best argument for last. I’ll direct it to you, my patient friend, “What is truly sexier, actual sex or pumpkin carving?” I mean, seriously, Autumn speaks for itself in new ways every day, so much so it gets hard to escape the orange beauty.