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Falling Away

by Regina Phelps

I wonder where the word "fall" comes from. Why is it used in connection with autumn?

"Be careful you don't fall," the young girl's mother said. A child falls out of bed. What exactly does that have to do with autumn, or the coming of winter?

Maybe you fall out of summer into winter? That's possible. When you're young, you fall out of a tree or off your bike or out of bed. When you mature, you fall in and out of love. Maybe the leaving of summer is like the end of youth? Maybe that's it.

I walk through an orchard. Over-ripe fruit falls from trees. I walk carefully, trying to avoid stepping on it. The leaves once young and healthy are now spotted and curling. The trees look forward to a rest. We walk quietly into autumn. The summer ends but leaves us wanting more. We fall into autumn like we fell off that bike. Why?

Because we really don't want summer to end. I think that's the answer. Fall is a verb and an action word. Falling from, falling into, falling away from, falling out of a tree, falling out of bed, falling out of love.

We cycle like the seasons. Our senses age ? touching, feeling, tasting, smelling. Like the trees we look forward to a rest. In autumn the crisp leaves crunch under our feet, the sweet fruit gone. We close our windows against the cool night air. The visual look of "fall" with its burnished leaves of red and gold brings some pleasure. Small berries replace the fruit. A cool breeze moves through the resting trees. The leaves dry and "fall" from the branches.

And we wait and rest through the cool, through the cold, and through the ice of winter, and long to "fall" once again into spring.


Regina Phelps started writing seriously in the twilight of her life. She loves it with a passion and wishes she had started earlier. She has been published in small presses such as The Fiction Primer, Dogwood Tales, Happy, Satire and others. Recently she gave a second fiction reading in Manhattan. She lives on Long Island in New York and is a wife to a lobsterman, a mother of two and a grandmother of four. She has just finished her first novel and is working on another.

 

 

Reflections on Samhuinn ]
Reveling in Creation: Stagecoach Reinswomen on the American Frontier ]
The Stone Path |  A Search for Beauty |  Moving Toward the Sun ]

 

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