An outdoor enthusiast celebrates the fall season, with its cool mornings and golden leaves.
By Ananya Venkatesh
The most mundane memories come to me in single breaths of nostalgia and stills of moments in time. A single breath on an early fall morning and I am elsewhere.
Fall of years past is the back corner of Roastery — the fresh coffee roasting creates a smoky haze and on these days the shop is cool — sometimes cold for the smoke leaves the front door open.
The outdoor study breaks filled with laughter in the afternoon sunshine, the walking home once dark along uneven cobblestone and brick walkways.
The cobblestone of the Slip, once exotic and refreshing is now home — and here I am easy. Sitting outside my home now means sitting outside the neighboring Roastery of a season past — the shop now closed and for sale.
Life now is all the same but so different.
Fall of this year is the waking up early to the moon, the expansive violets and the smallest sliver of orange. It is the waiting patiently for the light of the morning to pour in and transform my room into a golden cloud, for just a few moments. And during these moments, the world is still. An ethereal stillness.
Fall of this year is the open windows, the crisp air flooding into my home, the music of an outside world a welcome visitor. It is comfort and it is love. It is the sound of a distant cargo train speeding along the tracks to its next destination, a new city — a new moment in time.
As this fall passes onto the next, I store away some of these moments in the collections, only to be reopened with the single breath of a season to come. On that single day when summer suddenly feels fleeting — the goosebumps on my arm proof that sultry summer nights and humid endeavors are soon to slip away, only to be replaced by cool mornings and golden leaves.
This very day holds the inevitable breath into the collections of seasons past. And these breaths come as a reminder to dance with the ones we love, bask in the morning light, drink the burnt coffee from the shop we call home, and to breathe in the fall of a season past — but also breathe it out because while the past can conjure up the warmth of nostalgia, the present is simply fleeting.
(Ananya Venkatesh, a medical student at the VCU School of Medicine is an outdoor enthusiast, and an aspiring writer. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, and much of her work is inspired by her city.)