Plunged back into the frigid clutches of winter.
I’ve written something like this before called “The Grey Season” back on “As the Pendulum Swings”. It was a post describing my current view of an abysmal autumn in Pittsburgh and the terrible affects it has on the mood.
In years past, I have always been partial to the autumn season. The air becomes cooler, and I find that I begin to breathe without a struggle or medical interventions. It was quite liberating. The sun eases, emitting softer rays on my delicate pink skin. And there is a certain crisp freshness of the air with gorgeous foliage in various shades of reds, oranges, and yellows to behold.
Everything about autumn is enticing. There was a return to school and the return of direction in my life. New challenges awaited me with a wealth of new opportunity. Cozy blankets in all colors existed to wrap around me in a warm, snug embrace. I could bundle up in flattering autumn attire, covering all of the bulges and rolls that were uncomfortably exposed in the summer months. A cool refreshing breeze picked up, and whistled in my ears, taking away all of the static polluting my mind.
It was always a beautiful time in my life. But, somewhere along the way, the season was morphed into something sinister and foreboding.
November rains were something I used to look forward to. I would lay in bed in a room cast in shadows, just listening to the soothing sound of rain on my tin rooftop. But, at one point, I described them as:
I have felt grey over the past few days. I can’t feel for a better word. Something like, my flame isn’t burning as brightly. It’s a dampening effect, casting a shadow over me everywhere I go. The vibrant colors of the world filter and leave only the grey inside of me.
Some would consider a Seasonal Affect. But, that could not be father from the actual truth. I have been symptomatic since my early teens, when I would enjoy this season better than all of joys of the other seasons combined. Winter was the season that meant imprisonment and cumbersome living. Not autumn in the slightest.
The mysterious loss of adoration for this season plagued me. I obsessively mulled over it for quite awhile, trying to find the exact point in time where my affections changed into something loathsome. Sure, these November rains are the precursor to the awful, miserable blankets of snow. The shifting winds bring the lake effect chill from Lake Erie in the north. The whole world is changing around me, threatening to bring some kind of desperate gloominess. But, why?
Suddenly, it occurred to me. In my time with Avi, I spent a great deal of time escaping him on my own balcony. Summer meant liberation from the imprisonment in our singular room where we were imprisoned in an icy hell together. Autumn was the time when the chill rolled in. It wasn’t enough to warrant the use of our kerosine heater, our only source of warmth. However, the days and nights were cool enough to make life absolutely miserable, together, alone in our cage.
The shiver rattles my bones when I recall the whole wretched situation. Our shack of a home trapped us together. I remember how my hands would freeze up so badly that I could hardly type any longer. I remember the intense loneliness, because I didn’t dare invite guests into such a disgusting situation. The trash would pile up, because Avi was an absolute pig. The walls closed in, and the stiff, threatening air was suffocating. Bottles of liquor, my only escape from such an awful life, littered the floor as a testament to my misery. And all I could do was put on another layer of heavy, useless clothing and pray for an early spring.
I recall that detestable house. Even after Xan had managed to save me from another burden of winter, the drafts were enough to render the electric heat useless on days that went below freezing. There were times where we had to abandon the house when temperatures dropped to subfreezing. The furnace ran incessantly, driving us into abject poverty while we doled our precious funds out to the electricity company. I fought shut off notice after shut off notice in constant anxiety.
Autumn began to translate into fear. Fear of isolation. Fear of exposure. Fear for myself and my family. And the worst of all, the fear of losing my sanity entirely.
The dim rays of cloud covered skies filter into my windows, casting dismal shadows in every corner of the every room. The grey bleeds in and threatens my very being. I look into the now barren woods with dread. Apprehension wells up inside of me each time I approach the thermostat. Everything becomes filled with trepidation, each movement, each decision. And the chill, the unforgiving, merciless chill invades my very soul.
I spent one last day yesterday on the patio. I didn’t long for the crazy summer with people hanging from the rafters, and my brain short circuiting. I breathed deeply, taking in the essence of autumns long forgotten. I let the beautiful autumnal winds blow against my bare skin. I recalled fond moments from years past. The birth of my son happened in an October rain, right on the first fall rain. Xan and I were eagerly planning our marriage during this time, five years ago. We both took our first steps into our careers during the days of November rains. We laid together in empty rooms of a house we were fixing, the house where we first lived together as a couple, just listening to the rain on the wooden roof.
The sound of the remaining leaves filled my mind, and the sparrows chirped to one another. And for a moment, just one moment in time, I was at peace with this season.
- Autumn: the misery and the beauty of it (newsofpeace.com)
- Welcome Autumn (akissofbliss.wordpress.com)
- remedy for grey autumn and winter days – spring blossoms from forced bulbs (growinggracefarm.wordpress.com)
- Learning lessons from autumn (livingyogawithstella.com)
- Appreciating Autumn (joyfullygreen.com)
- Let’s stop for a moment, as Autumn light fades. (skybluewithdaisies.wordpress.com)