> What We Think About When We Think About "Fall"

From Everything Changes, the Awl’s newsletter. Subscribe here.

Image: Mark Turnauckas

Last week, I asked readers of Everything Changes to respond to a one-word prompt with a story, an image, a video, a link—pretty much anything they wanted.

The prompt was “Fall.”

Here’s just some of what everyone sent in (with the full doc here):

A woodman notches a felled tree’s trunk for sectioning in Western Australia, 1962. — SMS

I’ve been married 2 months and fell in love with my wife 2 years ago. When I was younger I would ask people how they knew they found the one and I often rolled my eyes when they told me “you just know.” I thought it was absolutely the dumbest answer until I met my wife.

I went to pick up my friend for our mutual friend’s engagement party when I was told that we needed to wait on her roommate. I hate being late and we were running wildly behind so I was a bit anxious to get going. When her roommate walked in the door it was like time stopped. It was weird. It just felt right. — TMD

Greetings from Japan, a country that worships seasonal change. Chrysanthemums come into bloom in late October/early November. Here they are! — Naomi


Giphy search for “Dog leaves.” — KS


My mom wasn’t always an alcoholic. I think the sickness was always there, but it didn’t manifest until I was a teenager. I still have a hard time saying that word: “alcoholic.” Late summer/early fall always makes me think of her. It’s her favorite time of year, when the air is both warm and cool, with the occasional cold gust of foreshadowing. When I was a kid we used to stand outside and try to catch all the falling leaves. She has a lot of trees in her yard and when the wind blows just right they fill the sky. It’s a strange feeling: grasping at so much excess, and coming away with only a leaf or two. Going from abundance to loss before you have time to blink. Watching the trees let go so effortlessly while trying, in vain, to hold on to as much as you can. — SBH


I live in Australia so ‘Fall’ only conveys the act of falling to me and that has suddenly become my constant preoccupation. I have a severely eroded hip joint which makes alot of my movements painful and renders me legless — like a one legged person — so falling can happen anytime. We are fostering a greyhound at the moment which sounds worthy and is but she moves like a container ship in our little house and lists towards me. Fall hasn’t happened yet but lunge, trip, cry, wobble an obscene words have.


There’s a Wendell Berry quote –
“The cloud is free only to go with the wind. The rain is free only in falling.”
We’ve had more rain in October in Missoula County than we do most years in all of autumn.
I like to think it’s because the City is in the process of buying the water system.
And Kettlehouse is building a larger (much larger) brewing facility in Bonner, where there used to be a lumber mill. So we should have plenty of Cold Smoke.

I fell in love and then out of love so many times my heart is now just this little deep fried chicken nugget. — Doug

How to Survive a Long Fall
Smitten Kitchen’s Apple Sharlotka recipe —DG

i had to pay $130 to fix my phone because i got drunk at a fantastic halloween party and dropped it so hard the screen cracked, but on the way back from the apple store i walked next to a brown dog carrying a stick in its mouth on a walk in the cold sunlight. halfway down the block she dropped the stick to smell some pee on a lamp post, then continued on her joyful way without the stick now, owning stuff is fun but smelling pee is better.

It is actually spring in Sydney but this iconic tree had a fall. RIP.

The Jacaranda Tree In The Quad Has Died

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