Fall.

Autumn has always been my favorite season: the air is crisper and the whole world seems to erupt in color around me. Spring may be the time for rejuvenation and rebirth, but in my heart, the fall feels more like beginnings.

I love the laughter of children going back to school after their summer vacation, the rustle of leaves being raked in front yards, the scurrying of squirrels as they prepare their stores for the winter. The autumn is a time of renewed activity after a slow summer; the spring may be about rebirth, but the fall is a time for second winds, for another kick at the can.

This past weekend, Lise and I took a trip up north to pick out a pumpkin from a pumpkin patch, and do some hiking through the forest trails. The leaves were a yellow that left an impression — almost as if the world had been coated with gold dust and had settled into its new hue.

It was while I was out, among the golden countryside, throwing leaves at someone I love, that I realized that the term “fall” was appropriate for the autumn in so many ways.

The fallen leaves all around me was the obvious reason, but there was much more. It wasn’t just the leaves that were fluttering towards the ground for some respite. Everything around us, from the squirrels to the birds to the people seemed to be settling down, falling into place. In the autumn, everyone seems to figure out where they belong, and the nestle into that place for comfort for the winter ahead.

I’ll be honest — I still don’t know where I belong. Even now, I’m not falling into a place of respite, but a place of uncertainty. But I am falling, and I realized this weekend, that I’m slowly starting to see the end of my drop. I realized that, surrounded by beauty in nature and in person, I may be falling, but I was eventually going to fall into place.

Earlier this year, I was uprooted, reborn, told to find my way in a world that was a stranger to me after all this time. Now, as the autumn rolls around, I realize that after spending months fluttering aimlessly, I’m eventually going to fall into a pile of leaves that provides comfort and re-establishes my identity because of who’s around me.

I love the autumn because I’m reminded that all will be okay, that I’ll survive the cold (metaphorical and literal) and come out fine on the other side. And I love the fall because as I jump into the pile of golden leaves in front of me, I know everything ends up falling into the right place in the end.