So I'm going to punt to Paige, who writes some lovely stuff at her blog, Cartwheels at Midnight:
Autumn makes me melancholy. Not sad, exactly. It just leaves me with a “grasping” feeling.
Around the beginning of August, I start to feel that I’m grasping at the lazy, hazy summer days, when we all stay up late-late, only to sleep in late-late the next morning. The days where going to the pool is the most exhausting thing we do all day…or we might go to the zoo on a weekday without worrying what the kids will miss in school. Summertime finds red-faced munchkins running through my house, looking for a popcicle, and schlumpy teenagers playing music too loud, yelling at the X-Box, and poking their heads in the pantry. Summer days, everyone always wakes up refreshed and no one is overwhelmed. Good moods abound in my house during summer vacation.
But then it’s over. We head to the store to buy notebook paper and #2 pencils, new sneakers and shirts free of playground stains. We attend Open House, meet the new school bus driver, drag out the backpacks and lunchboxes, and then I’m left wondering how my kids are yet another year older.
Then the nights start to cool down. We grab a jacket on an evening out and sleep with the windows open. The smell of burning leaves is on the air and the fireflies dwindle to none. The cornstalks turn brown, waiting to be harvested, pumpkins and gourds turn up in the grocery, and scarecrows dwell on front porches.
And then, one by one, the trees begin their betrayal. First, it’s just a lightening of the green, making me wonder if it’s really happening at all, but before I can decide I see that the poplars are half-naked, their leaves in a crackly brown skirt below them. It makes me more aware of the others, and every day I see less green and more yellow…orange...red…brown. The leaves fall off the trees at an alarming rate - an illustration of time passing.
It leaves me grasping for my youth. For college football and road trips. For tiny waists and smiles free of crow’s feet. For worries no larger than my next exam and houses no bigger than a studio. For babies I can still rock to sleep and bribe with lollipops and games.
Some people feel Time more sharply on their birthdays, but Autumn is my meter.