The Nature of Duality

By: Charity Kerrigan


It marks the end of summer and of glorious afternoons spent swimming and sunbathing, of backyard barbeques and sweet corn dripping from your chin. Students and teachers are forced to face the music of returning to a hectic schedule, enormous workload, and the ever-dreaded homework. Flip-flops and tank tops are replaced with sweaters and boots. Healthy, tanned faces are replaced with sniffling noses and rounds of illness that seem to appear out of nowhere. Cars that cranked willfully a few weeks ago now struggle and sputter and whine, protesting the colder air. Evening commutes that once featured a glowing sunset are now surrounded by gloomy darkness. Green turns to brown. Garden plots are now miniature graveyards with only a few empty vines left to tell the story of recent harvests. Flowers and trees become withered and barren. The mood in general becomes somber, if not depressive, as exuberance and warmth turn chilly and morose.


It marks the fresh beginning of a new school year, and the approach of the holiday season. Its arrival is serenaded by a symphony of color, short-lived but with beauty unrivaled and long anticipated. It brings bonfires and marshmallows like fluffy clouds that glow and bubble and beg to be devoured. Local orchard trees are bursting with apples ready to be picked.  Scents of cinnamon and clove and homemade apple pie invade the air, bringing with them feelings of comfort and warmth. Pumpkins are the star of the show and are featured everywhere, in everything. Now is the time for cozy scarves and hats and blankets and warming cold toes by the living room fireplace. Miniature ghosts and goblins and witches roam the streets with candy buckets and everyone finds something to be thankful for. The promise of lights and bells and mistletoe is just right around the corner and we breathe in and breathe out and try to freeze these moments forever. 


What brings joy also brings sadness. What brings life also brings death. The key is to remember that nothing is ever only one thing. It is bits and pieces of so many things, twisted and mangled together into one big delightful mess. It is an experience. A privilege. A gift. Embrace it all, good, bad and everything in between, because these are your moments. These are the words in your sentences. These are the pages of your story. Make sure you’re writing a good one.