by Al Drinkle
Autumn is earth's satisfied exhalation. It's a season of strong character but it’s also precarious, often threatening an early segue into the tyranny of winter. If spring is spontaneous, autumn is pensive. If summer is frivolous, autumn is sentimental. If winter is dormant, autumn is a wise acquiescence of finality. In autumn, passions crackle like leaves underfoot, and when they take shape on still mornings, they hold form with stubborn, overwhelming clarity.
We understand ourselves best in autumn and this engenders emotions of utmost vividity. Sometimes, as the year's most evocative sunrises and sunsets burn like the tiny eternities of our hearts, these emotions can be overwhelming. And as the moon shines behind leafless trees and ghastly silhouettes mock our fragility, it's an important time of year to feel that we're wanted. The reassurance and validation of meaningful relationships is particularly acute right now, and the most sensitive and altruistic amongst us sense this both as agents and recipients. But life and schedules can be impervious to these comforts...
It's a really hard time of year to say goodbye to those we love, whether temporarily or definitively; but sometimes we must do so despite our desire to stay. Farewells are all the more difficult when a loved one is basking in the twilight of their life, perhaps having just experienced what could be their last summer. One wishes to bask with them. Our distilled emotions make us want to be the very best versions of ourselves that we can be, but this pursuit seems entirely incongruous with untimely absence.
Wine provides comfort against all this - especially wine from the Northern Hemisphere as it's celebrating its birthday right now and is generally in a very consoling mood. There's so little that we have control over, but as the seasonal fixtures all around us emit their dying breaths, we can open a bottle and accept with dignity the inevitable approach of winter's aloof catatonia.