I wish that we could live in a constant state of autumn.

But without those yellow dried falling leaves which are quite a mess!

The nature has spoken, and the trees answer its call. The leaves of autumn fall one by one from atop of the trees lining the streets, in a process called abscission. They appear yellow, undyed from the stain of chlorophyll and as the sun abates its light, their photosynthesis halts. They appear to be dead, starved of sunlight but they're always ready to bud out once spring arrives.

It's not quite heaven but it's gorgeous. I was never reluctant to choose autumn as my favourite season. Maybe it's the joy of seeing those trees undress themselves.

Cue the first autumn, my first autumn in 2004.

Autumn welcomed me in Moscow in 2004. There i was, a Japanese looking Malaysian staying for a few days in the suburbs of Moscow . There were unfriendly stares but i just assumed i was so good looking that they thirsted for a gaze of my face.

A foreigner, i was. But it was not love at first sight. Autumn in Moscow didn't leave a good impression on me. The air was too dusty for my liking. There were modern day buildings everywhere. I was yet to discover the real autumn until i descended South towards Volgograd, or better known as Stalingrad.

And there, i settled down and sunk deep into the tranquility of autumn's perfect weather. If it were a furniture, then it should be one of those large massage chairs. That comfortable sensation once you toss that 50 cent coin into the slot of one of the chairs in those big shopping malls. If it was food, it has to be KFC or Ikan Keli with that thick irresisteble sweet sambal sauce. I go "OoooAaaa" thinking of those delicacies. Nothing beats those foods. Period.

It was neither cold nor hot, the perfect weather to play football. You can say the same thing about spring, but my love for autumn vetoes any semblance of affection for any other season, because true love needs no reason. As Pushkin once said in his poem, a tribute to his beloved season :-

The latter days of fall are often cursed,
But as for me, kind reader, she is precious.

To the late Mr. Pushkin, we share the same sentiments.

The birds buy their tickets not to run away from autumn, but to escape from the forth coming winter. They flock their nests behind for a warmer climate. The trees start to descend into that deep coma, that hibernation akin to polar bears. These are called deciduous trees, while there are evergreen trees which are able to withstand the cold weather, such as the pine tree.

As Tariq Ramadan noted in his book, 'In The Footsteps of the Prophet', "..living close to nature, observing, understanding and respecting it, is an imperative of deep faith. ". According to the book, while facing conflicts in Medina, Allah revealed verse 3 : 190 "Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the alternation of night and day,- there are indeed Signs for men of understanding,". It was reported in a hadith narrated by Ibn Marduwyah that one morning, while Bilal was alerting the Prophet SAW for the Dawn prayer, he asked, 'O Messenger of Allah! What makes you cry?'. And the answer was ,"O Bilal! What prevents me from crying, when this night this verse (3:190) was revealed to me." (This can be found in Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

There are other verses for example 2:164 that asks us to ponder the nature, the invention of the Creator. While some think that learning religious techniques (prayers and pilgrimage) is sufficient, Tariq Ramadan argues that these spiritual substances (understanding nature, universe, emotions) make up a portion of religion to help us understand the objectives of life, in general, which could bring us closer to the Creator.

Henceforth, the nature has spoken, and i gaze and observe its beauty with a sense of sincerity and thankfulness for such a marvelous season.

A song to accompany autumn. :)