It's beginning to finally feel and look like fall here in north Florida. The air is cold in the mornings and the leaves are trending toward gold.
Autumn always puts me in a wistful, contemplative sort of mood. Something about a great coming-to-an-end for everything that makes me look back on what everything has been. And that's true even here.
I've thought a lot over the past week about the people who are dear to me, and the reality that nothing—as far as we can tell—is infinite. There will be a specific number of autumns that I feel this way again. And a specific number of times that I see or talk to each of the people that I care about again.
Even the seasons aren't really permanent. Most of world only has a rainy season and a dry season. It's just two bands of longitude that experience what we think of as fall. I'm on the southern edge of one—just a five or six-hour drive south and there's no such thing.
I don't have any children, but I wonder if I did, would their children still experience fall? And would they ever feel the way I do now? It's almost certainly not something I will find out, as the unsustainability of my individual existence is bound to catch up with me long before that.
There are times when this has caused me to feel like nothing really matters. And I suppose in a way that's true. But in another light—the one I'm feeling right now—it might make each interaction and experience we have much more meaningful, and something we ought to treasure while we can.
I'm the worst at being friends with people. Like, for real. I tend to live in my own little world, and even the relationships that should be easy, I tend to keep at arms length. But seasons like this make me realize how important those relationships likely are.
I hope that there will be a lot more autumns, and I hope that I get to see and feel quite a few of them. But I also want to keep it always in the back of my mind that nothing is infinite. The moments that we have are limited in quantity, and the moments we can spend together are magical if only for their improbability and rarity in the brief time and space when they might have occurred.