On Autumn


Officers Row, Vancouver, WA | by Justin Augustine Lee | 9.2018

Like clockwork, but one that accepts fine-tuning every so often, autumn arrives to Portland, Oregon.

It’s a season that is marked less by the turned-page of a wall-calendar or the orientation of the earth to the sun as told by the stars, than by the final bursts of color the leaves give, asking that you acknowledge them one last time before bowing out after their closing act; or the crispness of the night, which works feverishly to regain control in its bout against the heat and the light of the summer—a season that will murmur just a few faint sounds until it becomes the past. All the land and its various parts which make up this orchestra—all the movements that mark this score—is busy in its preparations for rest, for darkness and for the cold and rain which will come.

The land is deliberate. And it is pensive.

She’s been here before. She knows that in her surrender comes a hope of resurrection when autumn yields to winter, and winter succumbs to spring as it always does. So, she accepts it—with a quarter-smile and intentional eyes.


Officers Row, Vancouver, WA | by Justin Augustine Lee | 9.18

Autumn has always been my favorite season. The smells, the color, the decorum, the food, the holidays and the traditions—they’ve always delighted me. I’m much more of a sweater and boots guy than a flip-flops and shorts one. And while it is my favorite, I couldn’t have it year-round; I wouldn’t appreciate it as much as I do. I’m blessed to live in a place that has distinct seasons—seasons that make sense, leading their watchful aficionados to anticipation and want. Some boast of an ‘endless summer’. No thank you! How nonsensical to live in a land where leaves don’t turn color and fall; where snow is never seen; where cherry trees never blossom and tulips fail to rise!

The rains will come and saturate these grounds. The earth will accept its death. The darkness and cold will consume. But it never wins. It knows how this story always ends.

And this frees my old, pensive soul to find beauty in the moments between now and then—with a quarter-smile and intentional eyes. +++


Justin’s writes from the greater Portland, Oregon area and can’t wait until it is finally cool enough at night to use his fire place. He can be found on Facebook and Instagram or reached directly by email at justinaugustinelee (at) gmail (dot) come. Feel free to say hello or send hate mail. Veritas odit moras+

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