Most people I know love love love the Fall. “The colors are beautiful,” they say. “The cooler weather is more comfortable,” they say. They’re kidding themselves. Fall is essentially one part Summer’s dramatic death knell, one part gloomy descent into Winter, one part Winter lying about its name.
Sure, the beginning of Fall is spectacularly beautiful in Michigan. Face-melting temperatures give way to more moderate and humane weather. The well-treed landscape burns with color so rich it can eat the hate out of your heart.
Just don’t blink or you’ll miss the vibrance. It disappears as leaf after leaf vacates its fair-weather post like rats on a sinking ship. I don’t blame the leaves. They know what’s coming and it ain’t pretty.
After the color abandons ship, what’s left is a desolate landscape of dark naked trees, a post-apocalyptic world where the trees look like angry weapons threatening the sky, daring it to do its worst. Which it does. The temperature steadily dips into frost and snow as early as one month into the season, requiring a Winter coat well before Winter officially arrives.
We fall into it like Persephone descending into Hades, our skin and psyches naked and vulnerable to the frosty, sleight-of-hand grasp of Winter that introduces itself as Autumn and gaslights us into loving it.