Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Falling: Sept. 25, 2011

I go a little bit insane in the fall. In a good way. The season makes me crazy happy. An also a little melancholy. But in the best possible way. That made no sense.

See? Like I said, a little bit insane.

Fall fever runs dark, bright and blue

    Something perplexing happens to me about this time every year.

    The onset of fall weather tosses me into a weird cycle of melancholy and elation that I find strangely enjoyable. It’s an oddly fascinating emotional cage match.

    Some days, melancholy wins and I sit on the screened porch, staring at the trees, sipping a beer and contemplating the dark cosmic metaphors of autumn – the wrapping up, the winding down; the time when it’s just way too late to start anything over. What’s done is decidedly done.

    Other days, elation wins and I sit on the screened porch, staring at the trees, sipping a beer and contemplating the bright cosmic metaphors of autumn – the vivid, limitless ceiling of an impossibly blue sky; the drawing near to the people we love in preparation for a time of comfort and rest. What’s ahead looks decidedly promising. 

    A couple of things become clear to me in autumn. First, I really like the screened porch. I’m glad we built it. It took us four years to save the money. Go us!

    Second, it occurs to me that autumn is just an excellent background for contemplation. It’s beautiful to look at; it feels good to walk around in; it even smells nice. Fall isn’t cold or hot or muddy or expensive (yes, holidays, I am talking to you) or full of kids who don’t have enough to do (goodbye summer – don’t let the door hit you on the way out.)

    The season offers a perfectly temperate and scenic little intermission for anyone inclined to contemplative beer-sipping and porch-sitting.

    Even if the contemplation breaks occasionally bad and melancholy takes a round in the emotional cage match (am I really about to be 40? REALLY?), I can generally count on my sons to remind me what matters.

    “Can we make a fire in the fire pit?”

    “Can we make a pile of leaves in front of the swingset and jump off the swing into it?”

    “Can we take the dog hiking and feed the fish at the quarry?”

    “Can we go camping?”

    Yes, my boys, we can absolutely do all of those things. And while we’re at it, your dad will make a huge pot of chili and we will throw a giant Halloween party and I will buy some new boots.

    Because it’s fall – my favorite season – and we are going to have a terrific time.

    Just give your mom a minute to finish this beer while she stares at the trees out here on the screen porch.

Fall. And one of my kids. In the FALL.

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