Sunday, October 08, 2006
Ah, Ochre Light!
It is not a coincidence, I'm sure, that ninety-five percent of my closest friends and family prefer autumn to any other season. I don't have many friends or a large family. What I do have is a small collection of dreamers and wishers surrounding me. Those of us who love fall are a special breed.

Granted, I'm sure ninety-five percent of the world's population prefer fall to any other quarter of the seasons. How can anyone resist the crisp breeze, the mellowed tones of leaves, the blue skies, the gentle gliding into winter? How can anyone resist the chipperings of squirrels and bluejays, their teenage feathers laid to rest as the bright plumage emerges? How can anyone resist the smell of apple cider, the sight of sweaters and bright pumpkins, the cornucopias of harvested wheat and corn? The bright fall moon and the subtle sunlight? The dreary rain of open-window weather? Fall is a most ridiculously beautiful time.

Fall is heralded as the harvest season, the season of equinox and fallow fields, the season of descent. And we marvel in the gracious death to which the earth surrenders, revealing her white shoulders and black bones of tree trunks. She is a maiden laid to rest in gentlest wools and timbers. We are spinning away from the sun and nearing the cold side of the universe, and Earth graciously pushes off towards her destiny like Aeneas pushed toward Italy.

In the South, fall is most kind. Autumn lasts for two or three months before the somber rains of winter begin. It does not turn the kind of cold many of our Northeastern counterparts tell of--football games require sweatshirts, at the most. There is plenty of time to marvel at the subtle colors of trees dying while motorcycling. There is ample opportunity to sit on porches and read magazines, sipping coffee and hot tea. There is still enough warmth to set people off on paths of errands during the weekends. And this is a kind fall.

The falls of my childhood are a bit different--suddenly, one awakes to fall! and many leaves of the many hardwoods have fallen in the space of one night. Crisp air brings on the steamy exhalations of playing youth, bonfires spark the dry air for a perfect atmosphere of eeriness and comfort. And then, one is piled into down coats, woolen hats, thick mittens and oh-heavens those BOOTS that every mother is entitled to stuff onto the feet of her offspring. There is a store, I'm sure, that caters to these mothers. It sells pairs upon pairs of unsightly and desperately warm boots. These are the boots I resented so much--and came to rely upon. But it is not time for those boots QUITE yet--we have another four weekends of splendorous fall to imbibe upon. Make your costumes! Stitch your hats! Pick out your brooms and superhero capes, for Halloween comes near!

And Halloween, as we all are well aware, was the DAY GOD GAVE CHILDREN TO RULE THE EARTH! Don't mind what anyone says about Druids or Celts or ancient ceremonies or Roman Gods. Halloween is the day adults are absolutely SUBJECT to the powers and ministrations of miniature witches, goblins, and Power Rangers. Watch your step; tread carefully--there might be a ballerina waiting on your doorstep with a can of Silly String and a fundamental desire to see an adult panic in terror.

So, yes, fall is easily my favorite time of year. It is the time when we reminisce, and think upon life in a slower manner. Take a breath. Take a walk! I encourage you to roll your windows down as you drive about in your car. Thank the Earth for Autumn, and bask in the firelight of her slow death. She is beautiful in her decay. She is absolutely enchanting in her golden, ochre, orange, burnt and bruised flowers. To fall as gracefully as Earth does in autumn--that is the true blessing to consider during this season.

Music for Autumn-What's in Fritz's i-Pod...
Gymnopedie #1: Eric Satie
Appalachian Spring: Aaron Copeland
The Planets Suite: Gustav Holst
Transcendental Etudes: Franz Liszt
Linus and Lucy: Vince Guaraldi
Written by FRITZ
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Name: Fritz

Location: Detroit Rock City!
Where the weak are killed and eaten

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    What I Live By:
    We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. Through the unknown, unremembered gate When the last of earth left to discover Is that which was the beginning; At the source of the longest river The voice of the hidden waterfall And the children in the apple-tree Not known, because not looked for But heard, half-heard, in the stillness Between two waves of the sea. Quick now, here, now, always— A condition of complete simplicity (Costing not less than everything) And all shall be well and All manner of thing shall be well When the tongues of flame are in-folded Into the crowned knot of fire And the fire and the rose are one. -T.S. Eliot "Little Gidding"

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