And so summer has ended, and autumn has begun. It seems a bit of an anti-climactic beginning, however, since today’s high temperature was a distinctly summery 97 degrees. But then, it’s not as if the earth can read a calendar, and even if the day was warm, by five-thirty the light was pale and thin, and there was an edge to the heat.
Autumn is my favorite season. I love crunching through crisp fallen leaves when I walk the dogs – hell, I love that it’s cool enough to walk the dogs without their feet burning or their owner melting into a puddle of sweaty goo. I love the different vegetables that come into season, the weather that begs for soups and stews. I love the way my creativity increases as the nights grow longer, and I love that my ritual Saturday evening baths don’t make me feel like I’m wasting hot water because it’s hot outside.
But autumn has another side, too. The side that reminds us that all things eventually wither and die, the side that reminds us that such death is a normal part of the life-cycle.
I was watching the 2006 production of Company on Netflix earlier today while folding laundry. (Raul Esparza is brilliant, by the way. His version of “Being Alive” is chilling.) There’s a line uttered by the character Joanne that goes something like, “We’re too young to be with the old people, but too old to spend time with the young people. We ARE the generation gap,” and that line really struck me today. Okay, I’m older than Robert’s 35(ish – there’s a throwaway line which suggests this is not his first 35th birthday), but our whole population is living longer, so it’s reasonable, I think, to feel similar. (Anyway, Joanne was older than Robert).
They say the unexamined life isn’t worth living. My recent examinations have taught me that I have young energy, despite being 42. (My dentist had my birthdate in front of him, and he and his assistant both thought I was barely 30). I’m not even close to my own autumn yet. If anything, I’m just entering mid-summer.
I may not be ready for the autumn of my life any time soon. But the autumn of the year? Bring it on, in all its colorful deliciousness!
“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”