Visual Oxymorons

Enjoying the Passing of Time

There's something about the change from summer to autumn that is more ominous and thought consuming than any other seasonal change in the year.  The change from winter into spring is more dramatic, but by the time those first green sprouts sparkle like emeralds in the snow, we're ready to get down on our hands and knees to kiss them. We run headlong toward spring. 

The change from summer to autumn, however, feels like time is running through our fingers.   As I read about others trying to squeeze in that last bit of sumer fun, setting by the bounty of the season's harvest, and making preparations for the long winter ahead, the sense of time being my enemy grows.   Summer is so loaded with images of freedom and childhood hedonism, that even someone like me, who grumbles endlessly about the  heat and humidity, can fall prey to thinking all will be lost with the turn of a calendar page. 

Multi color leaf 082811
I'd been fighting this dread for about a week, when a wonderfully freeing, and as is so often the case, incredibly obvious thought occurred to me.  Whether I grumble and obsess, or smile and accept it, summer will end, autumn will come and the days will grow ever and ever shorter.   Why waste engergy dreading it?  How could that energy be better spent?

Accepting Autumn - a To Do List

  1. Return my mind (and hands) to the cozier crafts of knitting, quilting and crochet. Done
  2. Wipe the dust from my recipe books and dream of the baking and braising to come. Done
  3. Remember all the outdoor activities that I put on hold through the soporific heat of summer. Done
  4. Make friends with the darkness In progress

This last one may be the most crucial.  The loss of daylight, is really the only thing I dread about the change from summer to autumn.  I love the cooler weather, the dryer air, needing a sweater in the evening, and eventually, waking to silvery, frosted grass.  If sunset could just continue to happen after dinner, rather than before, it would be the perfect season. 

Since I don't see the tilt of the Earth changing to satisfy my preferences, I've started taking my walks after dark in preparation.   Taking a walk on a soft, summer night is a pleasure.  My theory is, that if I can create enough good associations with walking in the dark now, maybe when I have little other choice I will see it as a good thing.  If not, at least I'll be accustomed to it, which is better than where I was a week ago. 

My preparations for autumn may not be as tangible as stacking firewood or canning tomatoes, but they're what I needed to help me enjoy summer's passing. 



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Julie Smith

Wow, I can relate to everything about this post. It's all about the darkness for me, too, and I just can't seem to make friends with it. In fact, I was just thinking the other night as I was taking my nightly after-dinner walk, how am I going to do this in winter? I guess I'll have to get used to walking in the dark. Taking cues from you!

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