Late Summer Overlooking Autumn from the North

Late Fall Overlooking the Fields of Eastern Austria

I returned to Prague, the city of steeples and guided tours, to find the leaves on the trees crinkled and fringed in brown. I know what this means; but how can it be? Summer just arrived two short months ago and now autumn looms like a deadline. Not that autumn is at all unpleasant, but generally speaking, autumn is followed by winter. Winter is cold, limbs are barren, the evenings are dark, and distances become greater as the frosty air nips at my ears and neck while I trudge along the sidewalk toward the subway tunnel. I never trudge in summer. I am not sure that it is possible.

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Fallen leaves. With the obvious signs of summer’s conclusion littering my doorstep like abandon concert flyers and plastic beer cups, I feel the weight of responsibility. Time is passing, I tell myself, better make the most of it.

This sentiment is in stark contrast to the endless season known to me in my younger days, idling blissfully on the shores of the Pacific Ocean under a perennially perfect sun. And so it is that climate supports the species: in my case, a Southern California lad, content with the ebb and flow, given time all good things will manage of their own accord and seasons slip by unannounced.

Though for people in the realm on the Bohemian regent, and others scattered about the continental crust, time has a messenger. The season spurs the sowing of seed, the repair of a leaky roof before the rains, a fresh battery for the automobile to safeguard against being marooned in the frigid winter night, a milestone in anthropological undertakings. And the inhabitants of this realm are au courant with the palpable passage of time. For me, the notion remains elusive.

Perhaps for me, it is a cue that I will remain timeless, like an armchair purchased long ago that never went out of style. Or perhaps something more ominous. In my dream life, the predawn world that I regularly inhabit, my subconscious crafts narratives on the onus of existence, and a curious facet of this theater is that the actors remain the comrades and antagonists of my adolescence.

 
 
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