Outside the Window

A faint smile graced her lips, a sigh of relief coming out, as each morning felt a little cooler than the last.

Summer was almost over. Soon the leaves would change their colours, the air becoming brisk. Before she knew it the whole world would be white again.

It was funny how the seasons kept changing, yet only between the same four. It was like the earth couldn’t decide between its best four versions, so it just kept rotating through them, showing off its different looks.

Or maybe the earth just tried to burn its brightest each summer, pulling out all the stops, but got tired each year and retreated inside for winter. Or maybe that was her projecting.

Just like the earth, she had her own repetitive cycles. Each summer brought inspiration (and perspiration), each fall a little productivity mixed with romanticism, yet by winter that’d all burn out. A battle would rage within her – work…recharge…work….recharge – and she’d ultimately, inevitably, find herself caving in to her exhaustion, her many to-do lists left behind, with only pitiful attempts made at them.

As she got ready for work, she entertained the idea that maybe this year would be different. With all of her plans and charts and lists, could the cold still clutch her heart? Surely the fire within her now would be enough to keep her warm. If she tried hard enough, worked harder, it couldn’t burn out, it’d just burn brighter. Surely the cold couldn’t freeze it out this time. Surely the cold couldn’t freeze her out this time. She didn’t want to think about that.

She wanted to think about the autumn leaves, covering the mountaintops. The sun shining through various hues of red, yellow, and orange, with the sounds of those already fallen crunching beneath her feet. Spring was supposed to be the season of rebirth, but it was in fall that she thought everything felt a little cleaner, and much more colourful. No cherry blossoms could compare to the sunset of trees she was about to witness.

She wanted to think about the roasted chestnuts and cool breeze that called for a light jacket, but nothing more. Casual walks by the river without sweltering in the heat or freezing to her bones. Warm snacks in her mouth, a book in her bag, and a sweater on her shoulders could always bring her peace.

All that was coming now, and would be gone too soon. She wondered why the magic of fall had to run out so quickly and leave her to deal with the cold winter. She wondered how something so beautiful and seemingly pure could be so fearsome.

Admittedly, the white would be a welcome sight at first. To her it felt like burning out, but she knew it was just another way for the earth to show off its beauty. She couldn’t deny the magic of the first snowflakes, or the way the brisk morning air pulled at the corners of her lips. She couldn’t deny that fairy lights all seemed to shine brighter when it was so dark out.

But she knew the way that brisk air made clouds in her head. She knew the way the clean white snow made drums beat in her chest. She knew the way the darkness sometimes blanketed her life…

She looked at her clothes, contemplating the day’s weather. Nothing too thin, but still not too thick. It was just getting cool enough for jeans, though skirts and dresses were still preferred. No need to even glance at the long-sleeved shirts yet.

It wasn’t yet cold enough for a cardigan, save maybe in the earliest of morning hours. By the afternoon the sun would shine and, with a cardigan, so would her forehead. Summer wasn’t quite yet over, and the effects of its endless heat waves could still be felt. In fact, they’d only just ended a week ago. The songs the radio had declared summer anthems could still be heard below her apartment every evening, with people roaming the streets at all hours.

The sun shone on said streets, currently abandoned by people (though filled with their trash). Only a few clouds littered the blue sky.

At this point there was no chill, just a welcome breeze. Everything was still nice. Everything was still good.

She put on her lipstick and picked up her bag.

Everything was still good.

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