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It's time for autumn by Eline van Wieren

It is a Saturday morning and the kitchen is a mess. I am making French toast for my roommates, working around the stacks of plates with caked up left over pasta, coffee grits and shriveled banana peels. Someone else can do the cleaning up.  I make tea. I evenly distribute the toasts over the last three clean plates and put them on the table. We eat together without saying much. There isn’t any music on.

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‘This is supposed to be the last weekend of summer,’ one of my roommates says. ‘After today temperatures will drop and they’re predicting rain.’

Something softens in all three of us. Summer has been good to us, but we’re getting to a point where there’s nothing more to add to this season. We’ve had our dinners outside, swam in canals and lakes, saw our city flooded with tourists and food stands, waited for thunder storms that passed over our heads without a single strike of lighting, leaving the air heavy.

Or maybe it’s just that there something softening in me. Maybe it’s just me that’s had enough of the heat and weekend days that are no different from weekdays. Maybe I’m the only one that longs for slow Saturday mornings and grey skies. 

I like the predictability of autumn. Not because of its weather, but because of how it beautifully shrinks people back into their skins. I like the extra layers of clothes between us in public transport. Only the brave still outside on restaurant terraces, the waitresses leaving chests filled with blankets near the door. I can’t wait for dark evenings that feel like secrets. Curtains closed, tea lights on, book in lap.

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Autumn is a season for growing roots. Letting my leaves with slightly sunburned edges fall to the ground. Watching them shrivel and change colors and disintegrate. I want to feel the ground I’m planted in regain its nutrition and stretch out in the comforting heaviness of it all.

No more abundance! I want to be surprised and warmed by sporadic rays of sunlight. I want to close my eyes and feel an icy wind stroke my cheeks. And then, in a couple of months, when I’ve had enough of the cold, I want to long for summer. Do it all over again.