Sunday, October 03, 2004

"...doing not a thing, breathing just to breathe-- we might find some reason. But rushing around seems what's wrong with the world..."

Today I realized that it's fall.

I guess I've known for a few weeks now... but it just sank in today. I've complained about the cold just like everyone else... I've noticed the crispness in the air during the walk to class; I've watched the squirrels hurry to bury their loot; I've felt the change in the texture of the grass. But I haven't really paid attention to any of these things... I've acknowledged them and passed them by, not giving them a second thought as I continued on with my busy day.

Walking to the car this afternoon for a trip to Pick N Save, it hit me: fall has already arrived, and I missed welcoming it. Like an anxious pig-tailed child squinting for Santa Clause, I wait for the arrivial of fall every year, and I greet it with just as much enthusiasm as that excited child greets her rosy benefactor. Three years ago, I discovered that fall in St. John is not the most beautiful sight: fall in St. John cannot hold a candle to fall in Rensselaer. I will never forget how taken aback I was my freshman year by how SJC actually transformed with the onset of fall. Ever since my first season change on campus, watching the leaves turn has been something I've awaited with as much anticipation as homecoming, halloween, and Little 500.

This afternoon, however, after the initial delight of my surprise fall greeting, I physically felt my spirits drop. This is my last Rensselaer fall. This is the last year I will ever lay in bed and listen to the sound of dry leaves blowing along concrete parking lots. After this, it's back to lackluster St. John falls for me. The mere 40 miles south down I-65 makes such a difference in the leaves... the yellows are brighter, the oranges sharper, and the reds more melancholy.

I can't help but feel a little cheated. Because I was so non-responsive to the world around me, I missed spotting the very first green leaf with hints of yellow running through its veins-- I missed out on the wonderful aroma of the first real fall breeze, the one in which you can actually smell the cooler weather approaching you.

All is not lost, though. Now that I know my long-time friend has arrived, I plan to show her a good time. Nothing she offers me will go by unnoticed, no pile of leaves shall be left un-jumped in. Everytime I stand on the balcony and see the yellow, orange, and red organic skyline against the chapel towers, I will thank her for visiting. When my nose inhales that first breath of chilly autumn air every morning, I'll close my eyes and smile, internally listing why this fall breath is different from every other fall breath.

And next October when fall finds me in St. John, I will greet my friend again with enthusiasm and gratitude. Instead of moping around the memories of our Rensselaer years, I'll appreciate her more than ever, and gladly take the little she can offer me in my new location, knowing elsewhere she is blessing an entire campus with as much beauty in one place as they'll see in an entire lifetime.

4 comments:

Frema said...
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Frema said...

You know, there's no guarantee that you'll spend next fall in St. John. I hear Saint Joe has a long-time tradition of sucking the life out of its alumni through gainful employment. Just think: next year, that could be you! :)

Becky said...

hahaha thanks, Frema... something to look forward to.

Hopefully no one will be offended if I don't hold my breath ;)

Luke said...

Be they pirate squirrels? Hidin' their booty, they were, arrrr.