The season is back. The season of pensiveness is back. How contrary and odd to love it so much. Harry Potter used the Pensieve in Dumbledore's office as a way to go into the memories of others -- a sieve for memories -- an admission that what we each see is only what we ourselves can see -- and that each of us has sifted the reality through the sieve of our own vantage point, our own beliefs and perspectives and place in the room at the time of the event. None of us has the whole thing. And if we can enter a collection of these memories, emptied one at a time into the bowl, and revisited each in turn, compiled with all the others we've gathered, we can see a story put together. We can find the threads of the narrative and weave them.

That's what happens to me in the fall of the year. Everything shifts again. Or, rather, there are some more things to pack into the trunks up in my attic. I bring the year's memories and the changes and chances of this mortal life, and I set them in a pile beside the old trunk, and I kneel down and caress the lid. I click the lock open. I lift the lid.

The smell of all the memories of all the other years comes wafting out, and I can't help it - the smell makes my vision blur a bit. I begin to lift out all the old things, to decide what goes and what stays. I begin to notice that I've brought yet one more of those, and how many do I need anyway? And I notice that I've never had one of those other things before. I should keep that.

And so it goes. I caress each piece, and laugh or cry a bit as I remember where it came from and why I have it. Anything confusing goes into the trunk. Sometimes these things make sense next year - or ten years from now - or thirty. Stuff that's started to rot has to be thrown out. And stuff I never thought to have in my hands is carefully wrapped in tissue and stowed where it cannot be hurt or wrinkled much.

That is what the autumn feels like to me. I must perform these rituals. I must clear the year's acquired piles and items, and visit the attic, and open the trunks, and then when I am done, I lower the lid, click the lock closed again for another year, pick up the pile of things I must dispose of, and go back downstairs. Ordinary life must be dusted and vacuumed. I light candles in the evenings during the dark seasons in ordinary life, and I cook inventive meals. I go to work and come home and put wood pellets in the stove. I study and meet deadlines. Along the way, a memento is kept - in a drawer, on a shelf, in a pocket ... on top of the piano.

It's nearing the end of September, and it's time to gather my little armful and go up to the attic.

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