I love Autumn and I hate that I am virtually unable to enjoy the season truly in Southern California. This vignette takes me to a beautiful moment in the middle of the busy city to experience autumn’s urban side.
Autumn in Budapest
Autumn had its many faces. Its approach was ushered in by an occasional Indian summer that treated me to warm nights of star gazing. Although the city never allows its citizens to enjoy any of the seasons (the heat of summer is cruel with the crowds, the trees’ garment in autumn is unseen between the concrete, winter is miserably long and the flowers of Spring are buried beneath brown slush), Autumn is the season that allows its very personality to be wrought within every living creature. It steals, and in my opinion, with honors, the carefree nature of summer and quiets the soul. It is , I believe, ignored, because it breeds a melancholy atmosphere that stirs the memories. It has a fragrance of an attic long ignored, yet bearing treasures that will only unleash itself to a willing partaker. Autumn, to be enjoyed, requires a kindred spirit.
There is a street in Budapest, nestled on the edge of the Buda hills behind the homes lining the way to St. Matthew’s church. It is adorned overhead with trees, trees that bend up, over and down to kiss the heads of those who walk there. Windows of the on-looking homes open to allow those sitting on the benches or walking to enjoy the sounds of classical music. The stones that pave the path are multi-colored, faceted together like gaudy jewels. In any season, any moment, this place that still draws me, especially in my absence, is no more beautiful that in Autumn. To walk this way and not allow your soul to soar is blasphemy, but to lift your nose to the fall breeze and inhale, gaze above to splendidly arrayed treetops, is divine.
I loved to chase the large red and orange leaves as they fell to the winding stone wall and try to catch them before they fell to their doom on the pavement below. The wall was no masterpiece, perhaps even as haphazard an attempt as the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Yet, neither accomplishment would have found glory in perfection – it is their flaws that make them charming and curious. The stones of this particular wall were never filed to smoothness, the rain and wear of hundreds of years has done that. It curves along the cliff’s edge and winds with a personality of its own. I admire its independence. I dream of living along this small stretch, yet fear I would some day grow to ignore it and forget the cobbled way beneath my window of wavy glass. The tread of passersby would perhaps grow to annoy me and so, I long all the more in my fortunate gift of deprivation.