This I Believe

Hannah - Cross Plains, Wisconsin
Entered on July 30, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: nature, respect
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The light of the afternoon sun is never quite the same from one season to the next. In the cold of winter, the white rays slice through the air like frozen bolts of lightning. The green tint of springtime sunlight sprays the earth in a perfume of energy, while summer’s acidic brightness scorches the soil’s deep brown flakes. There’s always been something, though, about how the autumn sun filters through the fading leaves, staining the land with veins of gold, that grabs me by the sleeve and continues to tug even after I’ve stepped outside.

I found there’s a very powerful idea behind autumn; more powerful than the foundation of rebirth spring is built on or the zing of summer. The true concept of autumn, I think, has nothing to do with the dying leaves scattered on the ground, the birds flying south for the winter, or the gusts of frigid air that bite and gnaw. It’s more about the distribution of power itself and who’s in charge.

You see, I have no authority over the weather. I do not affect the sunlight. My thoughts do not interfere with the tumbling of rocks or the growth of trees. And I can’t control nature. No one can. Sure, it can be manipulated, its course directed one way or another, but in the end, nature will always sweep away the efforts made to tame it. As the autumn leaves transform from vibrant green to nostalgic hues of warmth and depth, I am reminded that I have no control. Under typical circumstances, lacking control is a serious cause for stress, but with nature, it’s different. It isn’t good or bad, really…it just is. So, the way I see it, I can either fight the constantly changing, closed-minded phenomenon that is nature and be anxious, or accept nature’s behavior and be happy.

As much as I’d like to think otherwise, the sun is not going to rise differently for me when I feel like sleeping in on the weekend. The clouds are not going to retain their rain just because I want to go on a walk. And nature will not wait for me. The golden sun of autumn, as it percolates through the illuminated heaven of leaves above and showers down onto my face, brings not only warmth but also power because, as I believe, autumn represents the unwavering beauty and strength of nature and the real happiness brought about by simply respecting it.