“Fall”ing Forward

17 September 2013 Comments Off on “Fall”ing Forward


Time goes fast. Summer has passed by rather quickly (with many good memories, I hope), and it’s already time for school! Come on now, don’t start sulking! I’m here to welcome you all — the 5 to 10 readers I have. Call me a nerd, but I’m quite excited about the beginning of this new semester. Actually, now that I think of it, I’ve always liked beginnings, and avoided endings as far as possible — let’s be honest, final exams deserve to be avoided. Yet there is an exception: “fall” — the season, obviously, not the movie “The Fall” (which is highly recommended, by the way!). Even the name suggests “the end,” but I always look forward to this season. In fact, I counted down the last days of August, which made me ask myself (again): why does this season matter to me so much?

Well, I do not deny the melancholy of fall, and I cannot. However, reducing its beauty to sorrow alone would be cruel and undervaluing. Nature might seem to die slowly with all those falling leaves, but it does so with such beautiful colors! I believe if those leaves were to speak, they would say “Yes, we might be leaving soon, but we’re not sad. We spent such an amazing time in this world that we’ve put on our best clothes to say goodbye. Don’t worry. We’ll see each other again.”

Maybe it’s an occupational hazard of being a literature student, since seasons are commonly used as metaphors to depict the different phases of life, but fall always reminds me of the years of maturity. However, unlike in literature, this metaphor doesn’t have such a sad connotation for me. On the contrary, I’m looking forward to those years of my life. The most inspiring people I know are the old who talk about their pasts with shining eyes. These people carry their gray hair like a crown, knowing that they have lived their lives to the fullest, with as few regrets as possible. They are just like those autumn leaves, spreading peace and serenity around them. Here, I’d like to go one step further, and add “hope” and “courage” to that list.

“Hope” is one of the most positive words ever, yet it is radically different from mere optimism. Hope is not a feeling that makes you avoid hardships and look only at the bright side. Quite the opposite, it gives you the “courage” to face the problems, to look right into the eyes of those hardships while knowing that you are bound to have a great life in the end. Hope gives you the strength you need to continue, whereas mere optimism without hope is the path of cowardice. At this point in life, I think we younglings are very lucky to have the old ones around. When I look at my problems, which tend to seem incomprehensible and impassable, and feel as if I’m going to be stuck behind those problems forever, I just look forward on the road and see the people who have been over that mountain already. It gives me an amazing sense of hope for my future. The hope I receive from them, directly or indirectly, lifts me up from the ground and gives me the courage I need to try as many times as possible. It is also the source of my expectations.

Since we’re starting a new semester, I believe it’s important to remind ourselves that it’s okay to have high expectations for our lives — in fact, it’s vital, as long as we keep our eyes on the road and walk on with hope and courage. That’s why I love those “mature” people, as they reveal the next chapters of life to me and help me move forward. That’s why I love autumn leaves, since they constantly remind me that endings are not as scary as I often think, and every “death” comes with a birth hidden within itself.  As I often do, I’d like to share a quote from “The Little Prince”: “What makes the desert beautiful,” says the little prince, “is that somewhere it hides a well.” I may sound like a stargazer — I probably am — but I sincerely “hope” that this semester will be a time when every single one of us discovers a new “well” in his/her life to make it more beautiful!

P.S.:  I like being interactive with readers, so please feel free to send me an e-mail! I wish you the best of luck getting through the chaos of registration!