Autumn

“It’s fall coming, I kept thinking, fall coming; Just like that was the strangest thing ever happened. Fall. Right outside here it was spring a while back, then it was summer, and now it’s fall – that’s sure a curious idea.”

Chief Bromden said that. Or thought it. I’m not really sure.

Nevertheless.

I plunge headfirst into my first autumn in Prague. It will be my first European autumn since Helsinki. There is no way it can be that miserable again.

The darkness has already arrived, easily – there to greet me in the morning and guide me home in the evening. It will only get worse…

This afternoon I was walking to work and was suddenly hit with the brisk kiss of an early-autumn breeze against my cheek. I felt it brush against my face for no more than a moment, but before I could make sense of this cool tease, it was gone. Gone, but soon to return. Stronger, cooler, more intense, and with wintertime weather hitched on her heals.

The autumn is soon upon us.

The streets of Prague light up with energy in the summertime. The sunshine seems to electrify the city like a high-octane fuel. People walk through the streets, inhaling the atmosphere and becoming invigorated by the sun. They bounce off each other with an unrelenting impetus; all energy and momentum is maintained during these collisions. This goes on for four months.

The autumn must be an interesting scene. In what is perhaps the most amazing city in central Europe (and a serious contender for the all-Europe title), the city of Prague ought to be complimented nicely by a crisp November breeze and the light dusting of a sharp pseudo-snowfall, with the kind of flakes that whistle through the wind but melt before they hit the ground. The sun is disappearing for the day, and you’re walking to work as the wind propels these chilly flecks into your face. And it’s at that moment you decide that you cannot wait for the summer to return.

In spite of the discomfort, in spite of the darkness, in spite of the bitter mornings and frosty nights, the city will be beautiful, though altogether different from the splendor of summertime. The leaves on Petřín Hill will set the mood first, turning all shades of orange & yellow & brown before the October currents carry them off their branches, through the sky, and into the Vltava. When all the trees are stark and muddy and bare, and the Hill looks as vulnerable as it did when I first got into town, the weather will begin to cleverly change before anybody has the good sense to even notice. Before long, we’ll be drinking hot wine in mittens and laughing at the thought of even opening one of the windows in our flat – windows that have been as open as embracing arms for the entire time we’ve lived here.

Everyday it becomes more of a reality. But I can’t complain. After one year too many in Vancouver, I finally have seasons again. And it could very well be in a city that reveals itself to have a separate allure and different gems for each individual season. It’s not that far-fetched.

I’ve seen two. Here’s hoping for two more.

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