I never know what it is, but it happens every autumn.
It starts in my toes and rises up through my body, tickling and pulling and poking: a profound restlessness that makes me feel young. Not the wild, powerful kind of "young," but the nostalgic, vaguely uncomfortable sensation of being a child trapped in a nineteen-year-old's body.
It's the air, crisp and charged with promise. Great, obscure secrets ride the cool breeze. All the edges are sharper; all the lights are clearer; all the impressions are warmer. The sky is bluer than it's ever been.
There's a creative urgency. Beauty so thick that inspiration can't quite break through. Ideas pulse beneath the surface of the world, giving the air its own heartbeat.
Childhood whispers. Remember leaf piles? Remember running? Remember dark woods? Remember notebooks? Remember heart friends? Remember tears? Remember stories?
It feels like chilly fingers and smoke-scented sweatshirts. It feels like hiding. It feels like spying. It feels like being chased.
It's a lens through which the present seems abrupt and irrelevant. The urgency drains from school and flows to old thoughts and old fears and old worries.
Remember learning Gaelic? Remember researching drugs? Remember refusing to get your ears pierced?
Remember needing Him in your soul? Remember Sunny? Remember staying at Gr'anne's house?
Remember losing your imagination? Remember outgrowing your fire fairy costume? Remember exceeding your texting limit?
Things that have nothing to do with autumn drift across my mind. Summer memories and spring pains. Christmas woes and birthday adventures. Something in the air brings them back.
And then, like smoke, the feeling tints and twists and dissipates into the air.
That's my autumn, every year.
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