One day not long ago in the country I gathered a small pile of dried leaves and started a little fire. Then I closed my eyes and remembered. The aroma was a trigger as intense as the taste of Proust's madeleine, the little cake from childhood that summoned his remembrance of time past. It evoked nostalgia but it also evoked curious excitement and desire.
For me it is not spring but autumn that is the season of new beginnings. Spring, in school, is a time of taking final exams and saying goodbye to friends. Autumn is the start of a new year, and for me at least it always held the promise of new romance. I was now a freshman, or a sophomore, or whatever, and had left behind childhood things, and perhaps Marty would be at the Tiger's Den on Friday night and we could slow-dance to "Dream" by the Everly Brothers.