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This is the time of the year when everything bursts one more time and then it fades into a lifeless background. Autumn has stages, like some sort of a sickness. At first, it looks like the most wonderful time of the year. It is still warm outside and people have just arrived from their vacations, fresh and ready to start their work again.The scenery is wonderful, and that is why I like to spend autumn on the slopes of the mountain near the town I live in.

The peaks are not that high, as this mountain is mild and kind to those who visit it. It stretches as a border between two regions, and the air up there is always fresh. In the autumn, tree crowns in the mountain are showered with bronze and gold. The grass is pale green and dry. When the sun shines out of the clouds, all the hills and valleys look like they are made of copper. As I walk through the woods, I see shades of rust in the bushes and at the bottom of the trees.

When I think of autumn in its first month, I always think of vineyards. They stretch across the meadows like serpents. The workers collect the grapes in round wicker baskets, and then they carry those to the winery. This is also the time when fruit is cooked into jam and placed onto the shelves in nice, glass jars. The evenings are filled with steam and mild smoke rising from the frying pan with bacon and cream cheese. On the table, there is polenta, baked halves of potato and onion in every plate and dinner is almost ready. And, as the night is spilled like ink around the moon, the clouds gather above and autumn starts showing its other face.

All the colors blend into one, grey. Rains begin, and the sky turns into heavy led. The leafless branches reach for the heights like skinny arms asking the sun to warm them. It gets colder, and all I see are umbrellas and coats. Much like the weather, my mood becomes gloomy, too. The little cheerfulness that I have is gone and I miss the warmth. Walking down the wet streets I think about what awaits me later in life. Autumn makes me worried about the future, and so all my agonies come back. As rain pours over me, it seems like it is washing away every opportunity that I have. Till midnight, I wander around. The sky at night becomes red from the city lights and smoke from the chimneys. Everything around me is dim and sad, and that sadness crawls into me. Autumn is slowly taking over me.

Every year it is the same. Even though I know what is happening to me, I cannot change it, and I cannot stop it. My feelings are tempests that throw me back and forth. In the late autumn, I am without hope and without any idea what to do next. It is hard dealing with that. Sometimes, I wonder if it ever going to be different, but I already know the answer. Struggling and fighting against it is pointless. Al I can do is put up with autumn agonies while they last. Then, when snowflakes fall from the sky and cover the roof of my house, I know that ice will soon numb my pain with its freezing breath.

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