Lov­ing au­tumn

The Compass - - EDITORIAL OPINION -

I have heard it said that the sea­son of the year that a per­son prefers is the one that con­tains his or her birth­day.

In my case that is al­most true, though my birth­day comes just a lit­tle bit ear­lier than the be­gin­ning of au­tumn, my favourite sea­son. I was born in the first week of Septem­ber, 16 days be­fore the au­tum­nal equinox, the 21st of the month. So, strictly speak­ing, though au­tumn is my favourite sea­son, I was born be­fore it of­fi­cially be­gins.

In fact, be­ing born in the first week of Septem­ber meant that my birth­day falls on Labour Day week­end fairly of­ten. Peo­ple are usu­ally too busy clos­ing up their cabins or pre­par­ing to go back to school to give the cel­e­bra­tion of me blow­ing out the can­dles the at­ten­tion it de­serves. Cer­tainly I felt, es­pe­cially as a kid, that the cal­en­dar had left me hold­ing the short end of the stick.

None­the­less, as the sea­son gets un­der­way and be­gins to un­fold, it dis­plays all the char­ac­ter­is­tics that make me love it the best. These are not nec­es­sar­ily the same char­ac­ter­is­tics that ap­peal to oth­ers.

John Keats, the ro­man­tic poet born in 1795, on Oct. 31, my pre­ferred part of au­tumn, praised this sea­son to the skies in the fol­low­ing poem, en­ti­tled “To au­tumn”: lose. Walk on the for­est paths with the crunch of fallen leaves be­neath your feet. Re­move the screens from the win­dows and let in all the un­fil­tered low-an­gled sun­light.

Watch it stream deep into the in­te­rior of our dwellings, wash­ing the walls, floors and ceil­ings with a golden glow. This is gold that can be stored away in mem­ory and spent as needed to buy our way through the driz­zle and gray lead­ing to the short­est day of the win­ter sol­stice when the days start to get longer once again.

Sum­mer is over. Win­ter is com­ing. En­joy ev­ery day of this most won­der­ful of sea­sons in a place where the sky and the sea, over­flow­ing with life, gaze at one an­other in the mir­ror, their lungs brim­ming with air burst­ing with oxy­gen. A won­der­ful time of the year to be alive.

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