I think of spring as a tumbling, a box tumbling down a hill with its contents bouncing out, one at a time: the colored haze on the trees, sugaring time, then the trout lilies, the robins, mud, frogs - it starts slow but builds - fiddleheads and ramps, green grass, red-wing blackbirds, rhubarb, asparagus, daffodils, warmth - each tumbling one after the other, arriving in the landscape with a gasp and a quiet thump. The tumbling slows as summer comes on - strawberries, peas, fireflies - and finally the little box comes to rest at the bottom of deep summer, in static green, cool ponds, and bounty.
Fall begins as subtly as spring, with a hint of color on the hills that can't be seen straight-on. But it doesn't bounce. It just - well - falls. One day you wake up and summer is over. The trees do their flamedance, and then it is finished, it is now, when everything has gone umber and sepia, darkened silver and still shot with gold - the aspens that are the first to gain their green and the last to let go their leaves, still shining - the cornfields half-stubbled, half-skeletons, and the heart wrings itself dry in anticipation of winter.
A dry thing doesn't freeze. The heart must keep carefully dry at this time of year, keep its toes out of the puddles of memory, keep its eyes on the horizon of now. Fall is no time for meloncholy, despite the invitation in every leaf. Keep boyoued on joy, keep fattened on love. Fall is the best time to get married: bright, grounded, aflame.