Tuesday, September 15, 2015

You Expect to Be Sad in the Fall

Yesterday was the first morning in many months that I could have used a light jacket as I was leaving the house while heading off to work. There was just a hint of a chill in the air, mixed for me at least, with the certain knowledge and dread that as the days shorten and the shadows lengthen, autumn will arrive more rapidly than it did last year as the year begins its turn to winter.

I am not, as you may know, an especial fan of winter. The last one very nearly killed me, literally, and so by extension, autumn with its riot of colors across the tree line and its clearer than clear clarity in the hours before dawn-I saw the morning star all the way from my house to my office yesterday-surrenders to General Winter who covers everything in this part of the hemisphere in ice and snow, is not a time of year I welcome, because of what follows.

I grasp the essentialness and significance of the passing and changing of the seasons. On somewhat morose mornings, such as yesterday’s, I wonder and worry how many more will pass me by before they no longer do. 

I guess there is some solace in realizing that when it happens, you never know it. There is nothing like a brisk morning meditation where you can see your exhaled breath to get you contemplating your own mortality.

I pass down a hallway in our home every morning on my way out that has photos of our children from when they were small-they will always be our children-and I smile looking at those pictures because I can vividly remember the circumstances of our lives at the moment the shutter clicked. 

Ironically, because the camera froze that moment, time, itself, felt no need to tarry and didn’t. Our children are adults with lives much like, and unlike, ours at their current ages when we were working hard to be their parents.

In less than a week’s time, we’ll have made our nearly annual pilgrimage to New England’s State Fair, if you will, The Big E, where if it were allowed they would deep-fry a 1932 Stutz Bearcat, cover it in butter and cracked wheat germ and offer it on a stick to health-conscious visitors. 

The line to purchase one would probably run all the way down the highway to Six Flags New England itself engaged in an annual seasonal struggle as the fall signals the ending of another outdoor entertainment season.

And the snap in the morning air is echoed by the sound underfoot as we make our way to and through another day, almost unheeding of how quickly the time we so dearly prize is slipping from our grasp. And you hope there’s a second sitting for Hemingway’s Moveable Feast.            

-bill kenny

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