Fall is one of my favorite seasons – as I’ve mentioned before. But not because of pumpkin spiced lattes (ew) or for sweater weather (though I do love wearing cozy sweaters) or even for the beautiful changing leaves.
I love the season for its growing darkness, for the solemnity it brings, for the gloomy rainy days that remind me that life is short and always changing. I find the somber skies and falling leaves give reminder to the inevitability of death, yet within that inevitability a beauty, a calmness, and a renewed appreciation for the fragility of life. It instills in me a vigor to appreciate the quiet moments as well as the exciting ones, the good with the bad, the happy with the sad, because all contribute to a life well lived.
In my reflections on this season of change I began to think about the books that mirror my emotions regarding Fall. Literature that taps into the dichotomy between acceptance of death and decay and the appreciation and love of life. Works that shed wisdom on the seasons of life, on the challenges of change, the sorrow of death and the acceptance of its inevitability.
Each of the eight books on my list offers a unique perspective on changing seasons of life, giving little insights and revelations into what it means to have a life well lived and how to approach death. Some are somber, some are hopeful – some vague and others pointed – some poetry and some fiction and even some philosophy. Yet, each work has influenced the way I think about my life and my future.
One thing a majority of these works have in common is that they are episodic, situated somehow outside of time, whether through stream of conscious or through use of anecdotes. Through this they each touch upon the eternal, this touchstone allows them to transcend the boundaries of seasonality and life and give way to the eternality of life. Though individuals are constantly passing through life, often without notice or care, their individual stories create a multitude of voices that create a cycle of life and death that influences those who remain.