Autumn arrives September 22 (in the Northern Hemisphere). If you are like me, you depart reluctantly from summer, the season of light. Fall carries intimations of death—leaves dry and shrivel, grass bleaches corpse-pale, insects perish, squirrels batten down their nests and fatten up for a long season of lethargy. If spring is the season of fecundity and new life, summer is the season when that life is at its blazing, buzzing zenith. And fall is the season of diminishment, of paring down and drawing back, of recognizing the mortality of all living things.