Autumn is coming. Can you feel it? The temperature dropping is the most obvious sign, but there are others, if you’re looking as hard as I am. A steadily growing number of leaves waiting on my windshield every day. A seemingly unexplainable increase in lap cuddles with my suddenly fluffier cats. A near-silent flurry of activity outside my window – birds and squirrels and lizards shaking off the lethargy of summer and getting back to busy. As am I.
There’s an emotion that often visits me, and I don’t have a word for it.
Sometimes, I feel full near to bursting with it, but I don’t know what to call it. Part of it is a hyperawareness of my surroundings, and I’ll become doubly thankful for all I have and more in tune with nature without trying. Part of it is something akin to joy but less happy and more fierce. Part of it is a very poignant, bittersweet melancholy. A huge chunk of it is a type of longing that has no object. I don’t long for something; I just long.
At times like these, I feel as if I am the center of everything around me, but not in a selfish way. More in a physical way, almost. I feel like I’m deeply a part of things, and I’m acutely aware. There’s also an energy, an antsiness I can’t quite work out. Excitement and anticipation. Maybe I’m just way too into Halloween. Maybe the animal instinct in me knows it’s time to start readying for winter. Maybe it’s more than that.
I suppose that all of this makes me sound a little bit crazy, because how could all of these things possibly be a part of the same emotion? I don’t know. All I can tell you is that they are one and the same, and I don’t have a name for it. But I look for the name every autumn, in my own way.
I’ve described it before as a pressure expanding from within. A waiting on the brink of something unknown. A yearning, a tugging, a melting. But none of these quite capture it. Indeed, it’s this feeling that has moved me to create many of my works, from poetry to stories to entire novels. I’m beginning to wonder if that’s the reason I write about it: If I don’t have one word to encapsulate it, maybe many will do.
The truth is that I love this feeling. As an artist, it’s emotions so large I can’t ignore them that most often drive me to create. So this autumn, I hope to get lost in a swirl of beautiful but not quite perfect words, chasing the one that probably doesn’t exist. I may never find it, but I’ll find many others along the way. That’s not a bad way to spend a season. Or, come to think of it, a life.Share this: