Friday, November 6, 2009


Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!
This excerpt from "Autumn Fires" by Robert Louis Stevenson pretty much sums up how I feel about autumn. This is my favorite time of year. The vibrant colors, the crispness in the air, the festivals of Oktoberfest, Thanksgiving and Hallowe'en; all around one sees a celebration of the earth's bounty even as both man and nature prepare for the winter hibernation. Alright, most of us don't actually hibernate, but there is a definite slowing of pace as winter approaches. We travel less, the shorter days leave many less inclined to work as many hours as they might during the longer days of summer, and I like to think that we spend more time in the comfort of our homes with our families.

In my hemisphere of the world, the constellation Orion, the hunter, can be seen directly overhead in the early morning hours before the sun rises. By December, it will be visible at night. Orion is my favorite constellation, possibly because I associate it with this season. It's one of the larger constellations and includes several of the brighter stars in our galaxy. There's even a nebula hiding in his scabbard. He seems to stretch out his arms as if to embrace the Earth.

Being an essentially lazy person, I don't much care for the chore of raking up fallen leaves, and their beauty as they cover the dormant, yellowing grass with a multi-coloured carpet makes me even more reluctant to remove them. I know that I'm not alone in feeling this way. In his book, "All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten", Robert Fulghum writes:

"Across the back of our house is a row of middle-aged matronly maple trees, extravagantly dressed in season in a million leaf-sequins. And in season the sequins detach. Not much wind in our sheltered yard, so the leaves lie about the ladies' feet now like dressing gowns they've stepped out of in preparation for the bath of winter.

I like the way it looks. I like the way it looks very much. My wife does not. The gardening magazine does not like it, either. Leaves should be raked. There are rules. Leaves are not good for grass. Leaves are moldyslimy. But I like leaves so much, I once filled my classroom at school ankle-deep with them.

There is a reason for leaves. There is no reason for mowed grass. So say I."

Here's to you, Robert. It's always nice to meet a kindred spirit.

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