It is toasty in this tidy, pink Istanbulian apartment. Outside the wind blows strong – just like a November wind should – releasing the loose leaves from their trees’ passive branches. Both tree and leaf know their symbiotic relationship has come to an end, doth the season tolls and the cycle continues.
I long to be a part of it, (I miss the strong presence of the seasons so). With little trepidation, I open the door and let in the autumn that beacons for me to emerge; and like a lost child, I run to the sound of its call. Except for the breath that flows vociferously all around me, the streets are empty of sound – not another soul is visible – it’s just me and this early November day. A gust rushes up and around me, I pull my sweatshirt closer, and breathe… my desire for the frosty burn of winter intensifying.
I miss the changing of seasons like I miss an old friend – a friend I willing, yet somehow unknowingly let slip away. And like a lover in the throes of regret, I long to come crawling home, back into its fiery embrace. Frustrated, I am unsure if it is a resurgence of my melancholic nostalgia, or just a masochistic longing for what I don’t currently have, and a desire to return to the cyclical world I hold up on my pedestal of familiarity.
It’s this season particular which I long for the most – the season of dying – of fading away – of watching the world of vibrant colors turn to shades of rusty orange and brown – of getting out the extra blankets and opening your arms to the inevitability of the cold, bitter winter ahead.
I ask myself why, then reluctantly realize it’s ingrained in me like my DNA – and the more I try and escape it, the worse it seems to become. So I have learned to embrace it – what can I do? I can not run. It’s the smell in the air as the fall slowly turns to winter, the crunch under your feet of fallen leaves… then packed ice and snow. It’s the excitement of gloves and hats and pretty woven scarves, the boots that have been in hiding all summer that you proudly take out of the back of the closet and your toes delight in as you walk down the chilly sidewalk. It’s the joy of the extra few minutes you get to stay nestled in bed in the morning (if you are lucky), and the dread at having to jump out from under the warm sheets and face the frigged day… as they shorten and the depression from lack of sun sets in… and you LONG for the spring to relieve you from this misery that is winter. It’s all these things and many more, which call to me like a mother, to come home. But instead of dragging me in from the cold, she beacons me out. Into the snow drifts and blustery winds of a past that somehow longs to be my present. Or perhaps it’s simpler than all that – and really, it’s just that the seasons are what keep us connected. Connected TO our past, our present and the hope of a future. They connect us throughout the years and generations; as winter turns to spring, and fall turns to winter; the seasons signify time, change and our very mortality. They remind us that all things must die, must fade away – but also that there is birth and beauty and brightness – and it all repeats… over and over again. Ah, we have a sense of stability in the changing of the seasons. We can rely on the fact that the winter will eventually end and bring us into a longer, warmer, freer time of year – just as we can rely on the falling of the leaves in autumn and the silent melancholy of the approaching winter. It’s amazing how one can feel such a sense of being lost when taken away from the familiarity of their seasons. The extremes of the seasons make you appreciate everything you thought you hated about the other seasons’ extremes. We moan and we complain – and we do all these things in a cyclical rhythm, right on cue with the seasons. I suppose this moaning is also ingrained in me, I miss it – and I long to returned to it – in all the glory of my masochistic, melancholic nostalgia laden insanity.