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Forever Autumn - A Short Story

forever-autumn-a-short-story

Introduction

I'm taking a temporary break from Dear Ellie. She'll be back shortly. In the meantime, I've put together a short story for you to read. Hope you enjoy it


The inspiration for this short story comes from the old 70's classic, Forever Autumn, by Justin Hayward and the Moody Blues and is featured in The War of the Worlds. Although I rarely listen to secular music at this point in my life, I chose this to contrast two responses to life. Forever Autumn is one response. The other can be found in the video at the end of the story. I hope you'll listen to it, and consider it's message.

As long as there is breath in us, there is always hope. It is as constant as life itself, but we must reach for it and take hold of it. Hold on to hope.

Forever Autumn

As I did last night and the night before and the night before and so many nights before, I sit in this chair and watch the sun as it sets beyond the mountains.This time of year the mountains are ablaze with color. Gorgeous to most people, but all I see is the setting sun. As the sun sinks behind the rolling hills, it leaves in its wake, shades of brilliant pinks and oranges. All I see are the clouds that have choked out the beauty of the years.

forever-autumn-a-short-story

I don't notice it from night to night, but as I look back to August, the summer sun fades earlier as the year goes by. It's in the air. I know darker days are coming - and the winter winds. They'll be so much colder than the October breezes. I don't wish to subject myself to them again.

Ah, but the springtime! The spring of my life - where have you gone? I might ask the question in rhyme. Time, where have gone to? You left me far behind. And though it seems I missed you, you never crossed my mind. And I mean, never.

Each new day was exciting then. There was purpose then. There was hope then. Nothing was better than to rise early and set me to plowing the fields. I could sit for hours watching the cows in the pasture, knowing that from them my family would be sustained.

The fresh, green buds breaking forth gave the landscape a sense of new beginnings - a time to start over or to start again. The hills were tinged with a lovely purple in April. The fields - clothed in a deep, buttery red. I understood the amber waves of grain and the purple mountain majesties. I lived in their glory. The amber has turned to gray and the purple to dull. My time to start again, or to start over has long since passed.

This old chair is my comfort now. The armrests have grooves where my knarled fingers fit night after night as I behold the scene in front of me. The chair has conformed to the shape of my bent back. My pleasure is in watching time slip from me in the form of the setting sun. I know that night follows. It is only matched by the darkness in my soul.

Just what happened, I'll never know. But now, in the autumn of my life, I watch the birds as they head south for a warmer climate. Just like the sun, they soon disappear over the mountains. If I could, I'd be flying with them. Oh, how I wish I could!

They go to a new land, a new start filled with hope for them and their young. They'll be refreshed, and when they return next year, they'll continue to prosper. There will be another round of young, and the process starts all over again. But they never tire of it. There's purpose in their flight. There's a reason for it all. How I wish I had a purpose and a reason to carry on! Both have been trashed by the years.

forever-autumn-a-short-story

The summer - a time of growth and maturity, a time of developing and learning to stand. There was a purpose then. There was a reason then. But it's faded just as surely as the summer sun has been robbed by the autumn. I long for the summer of my life. That same sun, sinking so quickly, brought love. There's not a day goes by that I don't remember how my life was filled with love. My lungs filled with fresh, summer air and a healthy sweat upon my brow made the days worthwhile for the evening would come. The fulfillment of the day. A time to be shared. A time of meaning and importance A time to find me connected in another. I could not have done it myself. We were truly one.

The summer - a time of growth, a time of maturity, a time of being firmly planted. None of that matters now. Then there was a purpose. Just like the leaves I see blown by the wind and scattered, so was the summer of my life.

forever-autumn-a-short-story

Some people say I should go on, live my life, make every second count. I ask, why? My life has already died in the past. I will never walk that ground again. I cannot relive the moments that mattered most. What's wasted is wasted, and how can I possibly reclaim it? What do I have to show for my life? Nothing, really. I've been drained of all willingness to go on. And with the willingness has trickled the hope.

So often I feel like a soldier sent to war - discarded, sent away to die, but why? What am I fighting for? Somewhere, somehow, there must be a reason. There must be a purpose. Oh, how I long for purpose!

Sometimes I feel like a man lost at sea. Drifting at the mercy of the waves. In danger from the elements. In danger from creatures below the water's surface. The tide has turned, and for me, there is no turning back.

The storms of winter are coming. I can feel it in my bones. Hmm! My bones. The very structure that once supported me has weakened and no longer can I stand tall and proud. They shake and tremble at every movement. They refuse to carry me any longer. They mock me. What's a man to do?

The ice that freezes nature will freeze me as well. Frozen in time - forever autumn. But for now, only the rain falls, tapping against the window pane. My tears have become one with Heaven's rain - the rain that falls for me, the rain that mourns for the entire earth. While it yet nourishes the ground, it robs me of my self-respect. It taunts my very being. While it yet sends its moisture to soak the ground, it reminds me of the drought of my life - so longing for its cool refreshment, yet so far out of reach. I reach for it, but it slips through my grasp.

But autumn is where I'll stay. As the sun sinks beneath the colors of the night, so do I. My life will be forever autumn.



© 2017 William Kovacic

Comments

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on February 27, 2018:

Thanks, Robin. I'm glad you were able to stop by!

Robin Carretti from Hightstown on February 27, 2018:

How you painted the picture so clearly to put every important element inside my heart I just found your writing fascinating the picturesque beauty the right photo to see right through your gifted words

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on January 22, 2018:

Hi, Peg. At this point my life, I've experienced all four seasons and can honestly say, I've loved them all and have no regrets. Sure, there are some things I might have done differently had I known then what I know now, but it's all part of what makes us who we are. As always, thanks for stopping by.

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on January 21, 2018:

This creatively captures the loss most of us in our winter years feel looking back on our spent summers. Thankfully we have our faith to sustain us and give us hope.

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on December 16, 2017:

Thanks, Lawrence. He needs a good shake, and who better than you to give it to him. Go for it, my friend!

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on December 16, 2017:

Bill

I found myself wanting to give your protagonist a good shake and tell him, "there's always hope!" but the video did that so well.

A great little story.

Silva from Los Angeles on November 16, 2017:

Appreciated. Any constructive criticism is welcome.

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on November 16, 2017:

I'm happy to have you along, Silva. Thank you for the kind words. I'll do my best to live up to them.

Silva from Los Angeles on November 16, 2017:

William. Very much enjoyed your writing. I felt your style echoes my own style. I have just started writing (late bloomer) and am novice by comparison, but I do find myself enjoying my own sophomoric writings. Yours is more refined, or at least better edited, but probably the former.

In any event, I will be following you and yours. I am sure I can learn much from more seasoned writers like yourself.

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on November 02, 2017:

Thank you, Nikki. You seem to get what I'm saying.

Nikki Khan from London on November 02, 2017:

A beautiful reflection of autumn,I just love watching sunset and frosty nights of winter when its dark and cold.Then spring comes and there are scented buds everywhere,nature seems to wear new costume of flowers and air is so fresh,each breath in this air just freshens up your body for new season.

Summer is amazing too when you feel warmth of life and this is the best time to start a new era of life full of hope and warmth.

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on November 01, 2017:

Hi, Tammy. I'm glad you were able to stop by for a visit. I just needed a break fro Ellie for a while, but now, I'm back at it. I can see Job and Ecclesiastes reflected in it a bit although that wasn't my original intention. Thanks for the comment and I'll see you later!

Tamarajo on October 31, 2017:

Hi Bill,

Beautiful and creative seasonal reflection and life metaphor connected with Autumn. It was a little reminiscent of both Job and Ecclesiastes.

Both songs went well with this piece.

I'm still following along with "Dear Ellie" good "cliff hanger" endings to your chapters.

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on October 31, 2017:

What's not t love about sunsets, Eric? Some of the best sunsets I've seen have been at Lake Eire in PA - beautiful pinks, oranges, and purples. Enjoy the beauty as your wife and child are out running around your "silly" neighborhood.

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on October 31, 2017:

Hi, Lori. I remember memorizing Ecclesiastes 3 in the spring of my life/ Now that the seasons have traveled on, I'm not sure I remember it word for word. Thanks for the reminder. Life is good!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 31, 2017:

We really go all out with sunsets. All my children love them and the best is when we are together for them. Thanks for this wonderful write. I will take stock tonight as the sun will set and my crazy wife and child will run around our silly neighborhood for greetings.

Lori Colbo from Pacific Northwest on October 30, 2017:

A beautiful and poignant piece Bill Life is full of seasons.

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on October 30, 2017:

Hi, Jackie. Sorry I missed you. Not sure how that happened, but I'm glad you're able to stop by. Hoping your surgery goes well.

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on October 30, 2017:

Thanks, Bill. Glad you can relate!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 30, 2017:

A story we all can relate to and enjoy. Excellent, my friend!

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on October 30, 2017:

Thanks, Rasma.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on October 30, 2017:

A most interesting and wonderful life's journey. Love the photos and videos.

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on October 29, 2017:

Thank you, Dora. Time stands still for nobody. We'll all be there at some point. The question is - how will we handle it? thanks for the visit.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 29, 2017:

Bill, what a perfect and beautiful description of a life that is less than ideal! Stuck-with no seeming ability to move on, but at least there is appreciation for the particular season of life.

On the other hand, moving on can become a reality if one links hands with the Creator of life and seasons--Jesus Christ. Perfect for pre-Christmas reflections.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on October 29, 2017:

Very beautiful Bill, this reads like poetry! Love the flow and loveliness. Nice video too.

Sorry I haven't been around much, hope I went to the right video on your last email. Am around to doctors a lot right now and getting well enough for more surgery...hopefully... to right my wrongs. lol

Trying to get back to friends as often as I can.