Fall. The season is aptly named, don’t you think? It’s the time when everything just falls into place. It’s the part in a jigsaw puzzle when you place the most crucial piece and suddenly everything makes sense and you’re ready to finish the puzzle.

Autumn, as defined by the Earth’s orbit around the sun, begins on the equinox which falls on 23 September in the northern hemisphere and ends on 22 December, which is the winter solstice. Generally speaking, the autumn equinox always falls on either 22 or 23 September, but not quite always. Since the Gregorian calendar is not quite in perfect symmetry with the Earth’s orbit, the autumn equinox will very occasionally fall on September 24. This last happened in 1931 and will next happen in 2303.

But for all the Percy Jackson lovers out there, autumn began when Persephone was abducted by Hades to be the Queen of the Underworld. In distress Persephone’s mother, Demeter (the goddess of the harvest), caused all the crops on Earth to die until her daughter was allowed to return, marking spring.

I have always loved fall. I love the deliciously warm, buttery sunlight, holding none of summer’s scorching heat. The cool, crisp wind that always leaves you rejuvenated, so different from winter’s lethargy. I love how autumn maintains the equilibrium without any of spring’s flashiness.

Fall to me is pathways lined with trees and covered in leaves. It is the warm fuzzy feeling of Starbucks and oversized sweaters. It is a cup filled to the brim with spiced pumpkin latte and a stomach full of homemade apple pie.

For students, it’s the time when their summer’s hard-work pays off, and the graduates get ready to leave for college. In India, it means festivals. It means nine days of Durga Puja followed by Dussehra, and of course, Diwali that comes barely three weeks later.

However, what the season is truly famous for is the turning of the leaves. The shorter days are actually a sign to the trees to begin their preparation for winter. During winter, there is not enough light for photosynthesis to occur, so as days shorten throughout autumn, trees begin to close down their food production systems and reduce the amount of chlorophyll in their leaves. And since chlorophyll is the pigment responsible for the green colour, once it declines other pigments become more prominent, resulting in those ruby-red leaves.

And since we are talking about fall, let’s not forget falling in love. Buddhist teachings say that when you are with the person you love you don’t have butterflies in your stomach. It is not wild or fiery at all. Instead you are calm. You are at peace. You enter your Zen zone. It’s sort of like autumn, I believe. There is a hush in the air and it feels like the world is at a standstill.

And all I can think is- Fall, the season of the soul.

-By Vrinda Rastogi, Amity International School, Noida

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