Autumn brings a quiet peace here in New England as we prepare for the long night of winter. Most of the migratory birds have flocked to the southern hemisphere. Black bears have hopefully found enough forage to last the coming four or five months. Foxes who have spent the summer months teaching their kits how to hunt now begin to gently encourage them to become independent. The ever-present summer din of black flies and mosquitos has been quelled. For the most part, the tourists have gathered their seasonal memories and memorabilia and returned home. The roads and grocery store are less populated and life is settling down as The Winter Solstice approaches.
I love all seasons, but there is something distinctively wonderful about autumn, especially in coastal Maine. Yesterday while Ling and I were walking home after an afternoon constitutional, a small flock of wild turkeys took flight right next to us. The other night a lone coyote’s howl broke the stark stillness as I watched over Ling’s last let out of the evening. It’s times like these that remind me that all of nature is preparing for the austerity of snow, sleet and ice. It’s an interesting time to observe nature because there is a yin of activity preparing for winter, but also the yang of reflection that naturally flows this time of year.
At a certain point it is futile to prepare for winter. If you haven’t bedded down the perennials by now, it’s too late. Same goes for the lawn chairs listlessly abandoned in the far corner of a yard, which are frozen and affixed until spring thaw. This also holds true for the plans of men. Things slow down in autumn, especially around Thanksgiving. Priorities change and rearrange. The focus is on home and hearth, not so much on budgets and balance sheets.
I find that the older I get the more this is so. Fall for me is a time of introspection. This is especially true this year. I have a lot to reflect upon, some of it inspiring, and sadly, many lessons learned the hard way. Tomorrow when my sister, Doktor Hopper, and I gather to break bread, I’m going to remember that this too shall pass. This point in time maybe excruciatingly painful, but I have survived many painful times before and come through them a stronger person. These bleak periods add seasoning to character. You wouldn’t want a mouth full of pepper all at once, but on a slice of turkey, it brings out what’s best.
So, a Thanks Giving day it will be. One filled with sadness and also a quiet joy and a hope. For like Spring following Winter, this Autumn in my life, this too shall pass.
Have you ever faced an Autumn of your life? What carried you through? This inquiring mind would love to know. Thank you for joining me here. You are also invited to check out: 2012alifeinprogress.wordpress.com.
In the meantime, always remember to…
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