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.