Friday, November 19, 2010

Lady Autumn

Several weeks ago I was musing on the terms fall and autumn and decided to write about them for my column that week. And now, before we leave this season and the month of November behind, I’ll share a modified version of it with you.

During my decades in this great country of Canada I became accustomed to the use of the word fall in relation to the period from September through November. But why should I have become accustomed to this term, considering I lived many years in the northern temperate clime of the UK? Does that country not also have deciduous trees that drop their leaves?
In answer to that latter question – yes it does. During my boyhood in the UK I had enjoyable experiences of fall weather and of gathering, pressing, and scrap-booking colourful fallen leaves. Now to the question about my becoming accustomed to the term, fall. Although I knew that term was in use, autumn was the expression I heard most often in the parts of England and Scotland where I lived.
Autumn was probably my mom’s favourite season, and I think it’s mine. I recall her sweet voice sounding that word with delight in her very English accent – “autumn.” In England our family walked about two miles (approximately 3 kilometres) to church (we didn’t have a car). We’d go to the end of our avenue, turn left, pass several stores, cross the road, and head down through the old village, past the parish church and graveyard, to our church.
En route, by the wayside, I’ve swished through fallen leaves, marvelled at nature’s hooked wonders – brown teasle heads – towering over green-beige grasses, and admired gold and purple wild flowers complementing each other. I’ve caught a whiff of burning brushwood and enjoyed visions of arriving home to fireside warmth and hot chocolate after our return walk in the frosty air.

Autumn. See it. Smell it. Taste it . . . Pies – pumpkin, apple and cinnamon, and fieldberry. Hmm. Ah, yes, Lady Autumn is an inspirer of poets and songwriters with her distinctive features of colourful scenes, aromas, and moderating climate. Autumn. Hear it. After many decades, the Mercer / Kosma song, “Autumn Leaves,” remains a favourite, and evokes a yearning for a departed or distant love.

Lady Autumn leads some of us towards reflection and wistfulness – a yearning sense that one is close to entering the final portion of the year; that whatever dreams we cherished when the year began but which have not as yet been fulfilled, may remain that way, unless . . . unless . . .
Hope remains. This wistful yearning is not limited, however, to the duration of a mere season of one year, but is also culturally applied to our senior years – our “Golden Years,” the “Autumn-tide of Life.”

It is a time for realising that however lovely life may happen to be amidst the familiar scenes of our present existence, our springtime is now far behind us. We’ve enjoyed the summer time of growth and expended much time and energy – many of us raising children and preparing them for their future. Even now, we may still have some green, but we’re beginning to fade at the edges. Our spirits may be quite bright, and we feel that we’re “not done yet.” Our personalities begin to show some interesting colours – alias, quirks – that might embarrass our families!

We’re preparing to vacate the tree, and may be given a few years – perhaps decades, yet our time here is limited. To change the metaphor: like a marathon runner, we’re rounding the last bend for the final stretch of the road. Let us run it well.
Here’s a thought inspired by these wistful musings today: The one who walks with God runs a great race.
Lady Autumn encourages me to walk with God through the Golden Years.

© Peter A. Black – Original edition published in The Watford Guide-Advocate – November 4, 2010.
Peter is a freelance writer living in Southwestern Ontario.

He is the author of "Parables from the Pond" (Word Alive Press), and writes a weekly column in The Watford-Guide Advocate.

~Mildly educational
~Inspirationally oriented
~Character reinforcing

1 comment:

Glynis said...

From someone with a little green left, I thank you for this gentle reminder. Our days are precious and wonder-filled when we are walking with God. Lovely imagery. :)

Popular Posts