Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

The fall thing.  §

Spring begins.

Not really my season. I don’t have too much feeling in one way or another about spring, to be honest. Spring is and that is, roughly speaking, that.

— § —

Fall is my season. Fall is my season in particular when it is not fall. In fact, it is my season precisely when it is not fall.

Because throughout every other season of the year, I dream of fall, particularly when seasonal change is in the air, but when fall arrives, I am inevitably disappointed.

— § —

This disappointment comes from the fact that I have strong recollections of fall, sensuous and earthy and strong and deeply, subtly sentimental.

These memories are of a particular time in my life, a particular set of years as I was a teen. A time when a particular quality of light, a particular scent of plant matter and salty air, a particular genre of literature, a particular way of being in the world and lifestyle, were imprinted in my memory.

For three seasons every year, I flash back to fall at least once a day. To those falls, to my experience of fall, and I am seduced by the longing and the promise that I attach to the next fall to arrive, whenever it occurs.

And of course, when it does occur, I’m no longer a young guy in white tees and faded jeans walking amongst fallen chestnuts, reveling in cool, airy mornings that smell of Egg Island, or reading fiction endlessly while draped in various ways on, over, and behind the couch. I’m no longer at one with time and the world and my own youth. I’m not floating in the eddies being filled by myself and the world around me.

Now when fall comes, it comes with the jarring realization that I’m older, have children, that there is yardwork to do and housework to do in order to winterize, that it is time to begin to prepare for the holidays, that I still have to go to work today, tomorrow, and everyday—that I am, in a word, old.

— § —

They tell me that spring is the season of youth and beginning, but for me it was fall that once left this indelible imprint.

For three seasons every year, I recall it rapturously, in fits and starts, in response to the way the morning light lands on a table, the sound of the wind in the chimes in the backyard, the scent of exhaust on the driveway—in response to and endless list of things.

I’ve been doing that without meaning to do it again tonight.

It’s time that I begin also to realize that when fall does arrive, it’s not the bringer-of-redemptions, much less the bringer-of-resurrections, but rather the measuring stick against which I will be shown, once more, to be another year older and farther away from that state of being in which everything—time, the world, myself, my surroundings, and the people that passed here and there around me—was simply natural.

I won’t arrive, when fall comes again, as the me that I imagine, no matter what my soul tells me.

I will arrive, when fall comes again, as the me that I merely am.