Mother Nature’s Whisper…
by Stephen Doherty
“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.” – George Eliot
Today was the day! August 16th, 2019. Like clockwork, in the midst of the Colorado summer heat-Mother Nature gave us a brief glint of what’s coming. The seasonal shift starts subtly, noiselessly and you can almost smell it in your nostrils, feel it in your bones. That gentle, subtle, cool breeze that flitters by us on a mid-August morning, and makes us smile with anticipation. Ever since I was a child, I remember vividly Mother Nature’s sweet kiss with the promise of the always spectacular autumn that would soon be upon us. For reasons unique to each of us, there is nothing quite so special, so rejuvenating, so awe-inspiring–as the month of October and the arrival of the welcome fall coolness and the vivid colors of leaves on their last leg. It is a short burst of transition between the more infamous and checkered hot and cold months.
For me, the arrival of autumn sets in motion so many things near and dear to my heart. College and pro football is right around the corner as are long afternoon shadows born of the shortened daylight hours. Perhaps no sound is as sweet as stomping through the dried and crunchy leaves that fall from the trees in our respective neighborhoods. It’s also the gateway to the coming favorite array of holiday events beginning with Halloween, marching straight through Thanksgiving, and culminating with Christmas and New Years Day. It’s always a reminder to me just how temporary everything in life is which tends to heighten the value of each day. We relish each waning moment of autumn like gold coins slipping through our fingers.
“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”- F. Scott Fitzgerald
Throughout my life-my favorite experience has always been the gradual transition from 100 degree summer days through the sporadic cooling of the fall followed by Colorado’s epic and unpredictable winters. I am as comfortable in thongs and shorts as I am in jeans and flannell shirts. I find the bliss of roaring through the Rocky Mountains on my motorcycle in June identical to bombing the hills of Vail and Breckinridge in January. I take equal pleasure in dipping my foot into a shallow summer river or pond as I do a winter snowdrift. The sheer magnitude of the seasonal transitions is something engrained in my spirit-in my soul. I cannot imagine my life without these transitional markers of the journey I’m on. I cannot imagine the absence of the starkly different seasons.
I believe that October is the greatest month of the year–certainly the most beautiful. October is almost comically unpredictable as it treats us to moments of summer swelter followed quickly by bone-chilling cold. As I’ve gotten older, I actually welcome each new October with heightened anticipation and increased joy. I don’t know why, exactly. It could be that I’ve reached an age where there are far fewer seasons ahead of me than behind me. Perhaps, like life, the drastic shift of seasons imitates our own journey through our respective chapters. Winter is uncompromising, spring slow to evolve; summer sultry but sticky–but autumn is unimpeachable-the greatest of all the great seasons. Perhaps it’s why Nietzsche said, “Notice that autumn is more the season of the soul..than nature.”
“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting,
and autumn a mosaic of them all.” – Stanley Horowitz