tilt shift photography of maple leaves

This Is My Peak Season

If I wake up early enough, I can watch the soft dew melt itself away from my backyard door as I sip on some coffee. The drops bounce along to the beat of the wind, and it makes waking up easier. They wouldnโ€™t judge me if I decided to dance, too. The air has become crisp, that type of harshness when you bite into an apple that is just right.ย It cools you, nourishes youโ€”it only knows how to love coldly. And Iโ€™m okay with that.

The windows are rarely open in the summer, where the heat lays itself thick and makes me feel heavy. Sweat beads form along my forehead and I wish them away with air conditioning and a fan, but it all feels so fake. The coolness is only artificial, and it doesnโ€™t feel the same. In the fall, I am weightless. The bay windows at the head of the living room spread their arms wide, and now I am free amongst knitted clouds where the air is sweet and real. I see squirrels and fallen acorns and birds pecking at the feeder that sits in the red leaf tree, and I donโ€™t feel so far away from them anymore. She speaks really softly in breezy whispers, Mother Nature, and while we speak in different tongues, I know that she means well. I understand her best in these moments.

The couches are slightly cold at first touch, even while they are made of a gentle fiber. It is only after I nestle myself into the throw blankets that I begin to warm up. Family pictures are replaced with seasonal decorations of leaves and pumpkins small and large, but I have never felt closer to the world. The dining room table is covered by an orange placemat topped with a wooden basket and a scarecrow. He watches me while I dance along with the dewdrops each morning, but I donโ€™t mind his company. The more the merrier here, I say.

The cold signifies the ending to another year, and many of the plants outside are close to dying. Their colors have faded slightly, and their petals are wilted and brown. But I am more alive than everโ€”I am at peace. I have little competition with the flowers that lay themselves in the bed of my backyard. This is my peak season.

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