This time of year is always especially lovely. The air begins to cool, the leaves fall, and the smell of sap and fireplaces fill the air. The autumn has always been a time of quiet and stillness for me. I can remember the start of school as a child as being especially traumatic, but by the time the weather took a usually sudden change - toward a melancholy chill - I felt a great comfort. There's a sadness inherent in the Fall, too. Everything slows and dies, preparing for winter. Even the name - Fall - belies a certain quiet sadness. Still, I've always felt the relief of autumn, here, from the motion of summer. Summertime is warm and active. Autumn slows and cools.

I especially love the piercing blue skies that come with a morning chill. Spring is usually a very rainy season on the east coast of the United States, but autumn is, in my memory, constant and clear - slowly fading into a cool darkness as the sun sets earlier every day, and the clocks run back an hour - causing most of us to lose a little bit of day.

It is that loss that I feel in the autumn. That solemn rush towards solitude and frost. By mid-winter, I'll be urgently awaiting Spring, but for now, I'll snuggle up and sigh contentedly.