My doorbell rang early this morning and filled with the lazy contentment of summer I happily went to see who wanted to visit me.
A cold wind breezed through my hallway, as autumn asked to be let in.
“It is my turn now”, she said with a smile. “You have to let her go, Summer is at an end. We’ve had this discussion many times before, you and I, the result has always been the same. It is, simply put, my turn now.”
Filled with an unyielding fear of the dark, of the cold, the rain, the gusting wind and the falling leaves, I slowly stepped aside and let her in.
She smiled, took a seat and started to talk. “You know I do not mean you any harm. It’s the circle of life and seasons have to change for nature to gather new strength. That’s why I’m here, to let Summer rest, but you know mean you no harm”.
Coffee cup in my hand I observed the last, lazy fly of summer buzz against the windowpane as my unwelcome guest settled in. I wanted to scream, to lash out, I wanted to beg and I wanted to plead… But I knew nothing could stop her. “Remember the last beautiful days”, she said. “Remember all the wonderful experiences this summer has given you. All the new people you have met, all the days you have rested in the shade, all the butterflies fluttering past you on their way to eternity, the sunshine, the scent of summer… All the memories remain.”
“And she will come again, you know. Next year, I promise you… I promise you that, the same way I bring you a promise of rain, winds, cold and darkness – but also, as you seem to always forget – those beautiful, clear days when the muted sunshine electrifies the bright colours of the autumn leaves, and the air feels like a nicely chilled glass of wine.”
Sadly she shook her head and continued. ” It isn’t easy being the oldest sister in our family, but I shouldn’t complain. Spring and Summer are the youngest and have always cheered humans up with their playfulness and their warmth. Me, I’m more for contemplation and rejuvenation, for realisation that our brother, Winter, will soon be here with his snow and cold. Perchance I am the least welcome of us all, but I have my function and that is the way it has always been.”
Resigned to my fate I questioned, as always, who I am to vainly resist the eternal shift of the seasons? Brother Winter and his three sisters, not all as welcome in my home, will keep ringing my doorbell, each in turn asking to be let in. That is the circle of life and seasons have to change…
This piece was originally written in Swedish on 31 August 2009, with the title “Hösten”.
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