Friday, September 24, 2010

I Love Early Autumn

I have always loved early autumn. Brisk mornings. Golden days that never get too hot. Warm afternoons. Evenings that cool as the sunsets come earlier and earlier. As the angle of the sun changes, the shadows look different. The leaves are still on the trees, but they come in varied hues ranging from green to yellow, to orange, to deep red.

I just like the way early autumn feels. “Not me,” says a friend of mine. “Autumn reminds me that a cold, dark winter is on its way. It makes me feel like the year is dying. It reminds me of my own mortality,” he says.

It starts to feel somewhat that way to me too, but only later in the season. About two centuries ago, Thomas Hood wrote this poem titled November about the cold, overcast late autumn in England:
No sun - no moon!
No morn - no noon -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! -
But by late November, we’re all moving on to the festiveness of the holiday season. So we’ve got other things to keep our minds off the bleakness of the weather. Besides, the lawn doesn’t have to be mowed anymore by that time of year and there isn’t yet much snow removal to do, so it’s not all bad.

I think it gets more difficult after the beginning of the New Year. The festivities are over. We’re still in the darkest segment of the year. It’s dark when I go to work. It’s dark when I come home. There’s cold, ice, snow, and attendant snow removal duties.

Even the dead of winter is not without its pleasant side. I used to be an avid skier, but it costs so much to take the family skiing nowadays that we rarely do so. I’m still a pretty good skier. But three or four hours of skiing is enough for me anymore.

I didn’t start this post to write about the upcoming winter season. I just looked out the window and appreciated the glorious early autumn day I saw going on outside.

I have watched the colors on the mountainsides around me change over the past several weeks. We’re still some time away from peak autumn colors around here. But last weekend when I was at Camp Fife, I enjoyed looking around at the changing colors. I even noted where almost every imaginable color of leaf was found on some individual trees.

Perhaps I’ll never be able to rationally explain my love of this time of year. It feels and always has felt somehow wholesome to me. Oh, I enjoy other seasons of the year as well. I like living in an area where we actually experience all four seasons. But early autumn is still my favorite. It’s always been that way, and I suspect it always will be.

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