I’m sitting outside my house watching the last bits of pink sunset leave the sky, and just feeling a little…bummed. This happens to me every November–something about Daylight Savings time and wintery chill and leaving the library in the darkness and…well, this is sounding like a case presentation for Seasonal Affective Disorder, but I promise it’s not a lack of sunlight that’s getting me down.
Maybe bummed is the wr0ng word for it. Actually, I know exactly what I’m feeling right now. It’s like spending a weekend with a bunch of good friends and on my last morning, I’m eating breakfast and thinking about having to leave in two hours. Or like watching a really good movie that simultaneously makes me happy and also very sad (Finding Forrester brings me to tears every time). Or how the sun-soaked fields on the trip back to Charlottesville can catch the light just at the right time and be so beautiful that the sight of them makes me wistful. (No really, do you ever see something so lovely it almost makes you sad? Perhaps a situation that coined the term a tragic beauty?)
This time of year always makes me particularly meditative. There’s no season that I enjoy more–when I say I love Autumn, I mean every exuberantly red leaf and breath of crisp Fall air thrills me to my very toes. Seeing how exquisite the world can be just before it fades to wintery grey makes me obnoxiously, unapologetically, one-with-Nature-y happy. But at the same time, there’s something sad about the trees going out in one last blaze before they hibernate for the winter. It’s happy-but-sad to think of Autumn as being Nature’s swan song. And not to get all philosophical on you guys, but this time of year always feels full of endings and goodbyes and hunkering down for the sunless winter (which is probably why mankind invented the holiday party).
Sadness can be like that sometimes, though. It doesn’t only happen when things are going badly–it can be the absence/end of the good things, too. Thinking “I’m so unbelievably happy right now!” can sometimes lead you right to the thought of “And…it won’t always be like this” can lead you down the road of scribbling emotional song lyrics in your notes and a tendency for cynicism. (Which is totally going to be the theme of my next week’s post, come to think of it.)