It is Saturday, the 1st day of December. Though the temperature is 76℉ and there is a wind of 20 mph out of the south, I have turned off the air conditioner and opened the apartment balcony door and my bedroom window to delight in the refreshing late afternoon breeze. Autumn has incontestably ended. A sudden serenity marks the hibernation of the next six weeks before the season begins. Even the falling leaves on the bike path this morning were forlorn and withered. The dulled walkway wound lonesomely, its visage alternately changing beneath the grey sky or the dappled sunshine. The day is a sandwich of events blending into one sensible impression highlighted today by the rollicking mixture of sun and clouds, high wind and thrashing waves on the beach, and the violent tumult of the beating heads of palm trees. The dry relieving air hints of a turbulence on the horizon. It is only 5 o'clock but already the shadows upon the tiled rooftops are long. A narrow shard of light crosses the crowns of the giant ferns in the distance. Winter is coming.
The manifestation is personal and compelling, a topical reality from afar that insinuates my thoughts. The history of relationships passes before my mind, seemingly hastening its own impending alteration. We haven't time to look back; change is in the air. The newness of the revelation overpowers the erstwhile commonality of human understanding. The atmosphere is its own evangelical persuasion and recovery. The gifts of the Magi were meant for us.
“And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be
Are full of trees and changing leaves."
With her foot on the threshold she waited a moment longer in a scene which was vanishing even as she looked, and then, as she moved and took Minta’s arm and left the room, it changed, it shaped itself differently; it had become, she knew, giving one last look at it over her shoulder, already the past.
Excerpt From: Woolf, Virginia. “To The Lighthouse.”