it's strange how quickly fall comes and goes; swifter than the disappearing streaks of light that slowly slip behind the mountain a little earlier each evening. summer is long gone, taking her fields of green, clusters of wild flowers and gentle rains with her. it's strange that fall is your favorite season, you say, because everything dies. i know just what you mean. but to me, fall is like coming home. even more so than coming home to a house that i left over a month ago; i feel like a stranger walking through the door without knocking. fall changes everything: the door downstairs that creaks like a sleepy record player when the humidity swells the wood, and the gate that sticks, no matter how many times you smooth away the rough edges with grainy sandpaper; they're all different now that fall's dry weather has come. i don't miss the squeaks, but i already miss fall. it only comes once a year, and every time it leaves, it takes a little more of me with it.