Falling leaves of my valley
The season of my love has come
AUTUMN BEAUTY BY SHEIKH MUKHTAR
Outside my bedroom window the seasons are about to change once again. The leaves are turning luxuriant autumn shades. Soon they'll be tumbling to the ground from their high perch atop the tree's tall branches. Not that long ago, I watched as tiny green buds began to sprout on the barren branches, heralding the arrival of spring.
Usually in Kashmir all the four seasons have their own significance, but the most memorable among the four seasons are Autumn; it has always remain the most memorable season of my life, although in the end the beauty of Autumn disappears before our eyes - that ever present beauty of nature. The skeletal remains of Autumn with its earthy stench of decaying leaves of crimson, amber and rustic tones. The raw smell of changing matter disintegrating before our eyes, the unsympathetic winds blowing leaves into infinity with the nakedness of Autumn left behind. But we wait patiently for another season!
I love the falling of leaves. I love it because of the smells that they speak of; and also because things are dying, things that you don't have to take care of anymore. Autumn is a gorgeous time of year. Nature gives us a spectacular show of colour and richness to enjoy before we are plunged in to winter. Yes the days get shorter and colder but some of my favourite colours appear in Autumn. Cosy sweaters , hats and gloves start to be worn and outcome the richly scented candles evocative of spices, warmth and comfort. We have a wonderful harvest and the benefit of reaping what we have sown earlier. Often beautiful sunsets and sunrises occur and we can watch nature as the year ripens. Wonderful childhood memories come flooding back to me of walking through deep layers of richly coloured leaves and learning about all the tree'ses. Children can enjoy every season. I have such happy memories as a child of autumn. I loved it when we used to go into the woods near us and we chose leaves and made works of art from them. I loved walking through deep piles of leaves wrapped up in big sweaters and scarf identifying all the different trees and leaves. Out in the fresh air enjoying nature running free and having fun!
These days I have just started my autumn gardening and although it is a little sad to see the summer flowers fading it is good to clear the way for the autumn bulbs and to give the changing leaf colour centre stage for a short while before we go into winter. My attempt is to make my garden look as good in Autumn as it did in summer and while I dont think I have quite achieved that yet I do enjoy trying!
Usually in Autumn I am used to get cold, but honestly I don’t hesitate to write that I love to take steams in evening and can feel the warmth of love by the Autumn for me. In my valley autumn speaks a tale of rust colour especially on the leaves of Chinar. The deep rust reds of Kashmir’s iconic Chinar’s leaves in their dying cinders are best seen in early October be it at Kashmir University, Jehlum Bund or Chinar Bagh. Chinar leaves blanket the forests, lakes and rivers across this vast valley -all just a short hop from bustling metropolis. Throughout the length & breadth of Valley it seems the Kashmir had turn into rust colour giving it a distant space in time of monster period.
Autumn is perhaps the most romantic season of all, here in my valley marriages in thousands are performed in Autumn hence giving a chance of change to newly wedded couples. Walking through Autumn leaves with your love brings back a memory of a magic to time as a child when a pile of leaves was so much more than a nuisance. This is a wonderful opportunity to be that child again and play! Invite your sweetheart to hold you tight and just fall into those leaves together and you will find yourself falling in love, perhaps for the first time or the first time this Autumn. Turn your head and everywhere couples are nestled into each other with soft whispers and their breaths captured in the icy air. Breathe in each other’s breath and become one. Slip your arms around each other and just take time to notice the days growing shorter and life being lived to the fullest. Harvest these fruits of Autumn and cherish the cycles of our seasons. Echo again the changes that you see, Autumn, with new beginnings just around the corner.
It seems like the older I become, the faster the seasons revolve, progressing almost at a dizzying pace. The bare trees become full of life, lustre and hope, only to fade and fall away, returning back to the earth, gone. Some branches develop a fuller or more colourful foliage than others, but in the end each eventually arrives at the same destination—with their final descent to the ground.
As I watch the transforming scenery I am reminded of a verse from Ecclesiastes, "a generation has passed, a generation has arrived, but the earth stands still forever." The names have changed, and the backdrop may be different. New marriages have been formed and new children born. Some families are larger, and some individuals achieve more colourfull accomplishments. But each eventually repeats the cycle of life as love and birth changes season into loss and heartbreak.
There is essence of Autumn everywhere nowadays; but this phase will pass, and it will leave behind the memories to cherish. The mornings and evenings of this Autumn is going to remain with me for sure. Because during day I usually remain busy with my official work. It is the morning when I wake up early and went for morning walk and the dews of autumn is always killing me, forcing me to go into woods again and live a life of a child I used to live. During evening’s I usually went for a long drive to my favourite places. I can feel the cool breeze smelled with the fragrance of the harvesting crops, gives me a chance to relive into my childhood. Anyway for making my life memorable thanks Autumn!
(The author is a filmmaker comments can be shared at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastupdate on : Thu, 22 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 22 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 23 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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