Friday, September 22, 2017

First Day of Autumn: Thoughts and Quotations

Today is the first day of autumn.  I revel in the season and the beautiful fall foliage.  For me, the delights of fall include the crisp autumn air, Canadian Thanksgiving, the World Series, the beginning of the hockey season, the pungent aroma of pumpkins, and the shiny orange Harvest Moon.  Autumn, however, is bittersweet.  The trees will soon be bare and year's death is approaching. Such are the rhythms of life.

Here are some thoughts on the day of the autumn equinox:

Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night; and thus he would never know the rhythms that are at the heart of life.

Essentially, autumn is the quiet completion of spring and summer. Spring was all eagerness and beginnings, summer was growth and flowering. Autumn is the achievement summarized, the harvested grain, the ripened apple, the grape in the wine press. Autumn is the bright leaf in the woodland, the opened husk on the bittersweet berry, the fruit of asters at the roadside. 

Another equinox occurs, and by those charts and markers we use to divide time and measure our lives, today is autumn.  For a little while now, days and nights will be almost equal, dawn to dusk, dusk to dawn, and the sun will rise and set almost true east and west.  Then it will be October, tenth month of our twelve-month year, and moving toward the winter solstice.  

So much for the arbitrary boundaries, which are for the almanacs and the record books., even less imperative than the figures on a sundial.  The autumn with which we live is as variable as the wind, the weather, the land itself.  Its schedule is that of the woodland trees, the wild grasses, the migrant birds. 

- Hal Borland (1900-1978), American author, journalist and naturalist

"I'm dreading fall.  It is a terrifying season," he says . . . "Everything shriveling up and dying."  I don't know how to answer.  Fall has always been my favorite season.  The time when everything bursts with its last beauty; as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.  I've never thought to be frightened of it.

- Lauren DeStefano (1984- ), American author
From Wither (The Chemical Garden. Book 1) [2011]

You expected to be sad in the fall.  Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and cold, wintry light.  But you knew there would always be the spring, as you knew the river would flow again after it was frozen.  when the cold rains kept on and killed the spring, it was as though a young person died for no reason.

Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), American author
From A Moveable Feast

Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.

- J.K. Rawling (1965- ), British author
From Harry Potter adn the Deathly Hallows

- Joanne