Monday, September 26, 2011

Some Autumn Thoughts

from "The Preface"

"Autumn is that season in between: not summer, though still somewhat like summer, and not winter, though still somewhat like winter. It is the season that does not seem to progress--like spring--as much as it juggles blazing opposites in a great circle. It is the season of work to be taken up after summer rest, and the season to harvest the work of the summer and to turn over the garden and tuck it in for its own long sleep. It is the season that grabs the attention of the moment as we take up our schedules again. And it is the season that reminds us to look ahead, to prepare for the orneriness of winter. It is the season of brilliant October leaves and drab November branches, of yellow warm days and cold crystal nights, of the unfamiliar clunkings of radiator and furnace, the smell of blankets taken out of the cedar chest, and the first touch of silver frost on thew windowpane that quickly melts away--until, one morning, it doesn't.

It is the season that teaches us that our lives are made not to run in smooth and easy paths, predictable, and even, always known. Our lives are messy, sometimes scheduled, sometimes random, sometimes prepared for, sometimes taken on the fly as we juggle our own blazing experiences, all of which come at us with their contradictions and with their own joys and sorrows. It is the season that teaches us that beginnings and endings are part of our experiences; though autumn represents the fulfillment of cycles, fulfillment must also bring ending. And it is the season that reminds us that maybe we are not our own; we neither mark out nor control all the paths we may take.

And like all the season, autumn teaches that these aspects of our lives are not negotiable--they are part of our experience in this world. School buses, soccer practice, apples, grapes--this is the stuff of our daily life. But our response to changes, renewals, endings, and the confusing mix of day-to-day moments--this is the stuff of our spiritual life."

from Autumn: A Spiritual Biography of the Season
Gary Schmidt and Susan M Felch, editors


  1. This is a perfect and very welcome view of Autumn. It matches my own except that I couldn't say it this well. :)

  2. Yvette,

    Thanks for the comment. You may have noticed that I didn't write anything myself. [g]

  3. Fred-I have been thinking a lot lately of how the weather effects cultures-here in the Philippines we have no Autumn season-no sense of spring, summer fall winter-only wet (with Typhoons) and dry season-I think these patterns get way down into the psyche of people and people who do not have these patters are shaped differently-

  4. Mel u,

    I know what you mean. I live in Tucson, Arizona where the four seasons really don't exist, at least not to someone like me who grew up in the Midwest. I've talked to others who grew up in places that had four seasons, and they generally felt that something was lacking, especially during the Fall and Winter seasons.