There is a shift in the air this morning. As raindrops trickle down to earth, the wetness on my skin no longer humidifies against the summer heat. It fades into a crisper temperature, the kind of weather that makes you want to curl up in an oversized sweater with your morning cup of coffee and linger a little longer in bed. Coffee that very well could be a Pumpkin Spice Latte in just a few short days. Although fall does not officially reintroduce itself until September 22nd, there is a definitive change in scenery today.
The transition from
summer love to fall romance is a commonality known to many, usually referred to
as ‘cuffing season.’ Ironically, at a time when relationships often reach
higher levels of closeness and intimacy, some drift to the other end of the
spectrum—they fall apart. You were beginning to look forward to fall, a
favorite season of many. The fulfillment in that feeling of that first chill in
the air when it’s not quite warm enough to wear your favorite floral sundress,
but not cold enough for coats and mittens, either. The weather when you can
glance over at your sweetheart and he’ll offer you his hoodie without a word or
second thought. As you watch the leaves paint your daily scenery with a new
sense of life and inspiration, your mind drifts from thoughts of slathering
sunscreen on one another and sleeping under the stars to togetherness during
the holidays: introducing him to your family at Thanksgiving, what ugly sweater
you’ll wear to the annual Christmas party, curling up by the fire with a glass
of champagne as you welcome the incoming year with a shared kiss.
|Volo Coffeehouse in Philadelphia|
Fall is a time of definitive transition in both climates and hearts, but for those whose hearts are broken, it carries a bit more weight. Losing a lover during your favorite season causes you to bring increased awareness to that sudden chill in the air. There are none of his jackets draped over your shoulders, and the shared space in the IKEA bed you built together is now left empty, along with a dented pillow where he used to rest his head. The Sunday morning breakfast and coffee excursions you once made routine adventures become mundane meals which you have to relearn to enjoy in the company of your own mind. The spoon clinks against the bottom of your bowl as you finish the oatmeal that replaces his special chocolate chip breakfast pancakes he made just for you. The football games when your teams meet one another in match no longer ignite that sense of shared sexual tension and excitement, but now frustration as to the way you ended, enough of a reminder for you to switch the channel, or even turn off the television altogether. The changing leaves are no longer a sign of embarking on new adventures with your partner, but the realization of a reinvention, a deeper rooting of yourself as you begin to shed your own leaves. The realization that he is no longer intertwined with your roots and is off creating some of his own.
By the time the trees are barren and winter’s first snow blankets what’s left of the crumpled colors, we are left feeling that fall was just a fantasy, a season that was not quite finished, just like the end of our summer romances. We lick our lips after the final sip of our cup of morning coffee by the fire, and peer into our empty mug that mirrors the blissful snow on Christmas morning. Although we have grown through the seasons, it is during these moments when we can’t help but drift back to the unfinished illusion of “us.”