As Autumn approaches, my mind drifts to the decaying leaves, Halloween, the cool, crisp breeze... The communal understanding that eternal heaven comes only with death— that Summer must always go. And that beloved Autumn must always usher in bitter Winter who lays the foundations for an exalted Spring. Oh ****...I hope for a long Autumn, I want to make it stay— like a host who lectures his party guest for too long so he won't look at his watch. Oh how I need the frumpy sweaters and pumpkin heads on window sills! Oh how I need the billowing steam from milky beige cocoa, the misty light rain in the gray of the morning, the high canopy of fleshy red flakes! And echoes of children laughing as they eat candy on their way home from trick-or-treating—reminding me that life can be enjoyed with sacred rituals and good company. I need Autumn personified— a cool-headed, crackling-fireplace-girl. A quilt-maker, cloud-gazer, two-dogs-and-a-cat bookworm. Someone comforting like oatmeal. Someone surprising like the first day of school. I need Autumn. I need Autumn but it never seems to need me too.