Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Oh how the clock ticks; summer ends and fall arrives only in time to set the table and draw the drapes. And every year the cliché stands as tall as it ever did as the foliage retires like an empire of leaves tumbling to the ground like the scattered ruins of a great civilization. And time seems to crawl by in a cinematic slow motion for those few fleeting precious weeks.
For me, the season’s change is more than a tipping of temperature and the tireless tilting of a spinning globe; it affects the body and mind. For the body: germ and exhaustion return to their autumn dwellings (passing the geese on their way south) spreading their work about on the unsuspecting people who lazily cough into air; underdressed; carelessly holding subway car poles and door handles with bare hands.
Then the mind succumbs to the lack of daylight and the first quarter stress of a new fiscal year. Just like the teenaged growing pains of change, we are stubborn to hang up our summer points of view until next June while looking down the barrel of the imminent six months of slush, cold, stress and a boozy Christmas season.
All of it is a bit over whelming and as it always does, autumn comes and goes faster than we ever want it to. Then we rub our eyes and open them to see a new sky’s colors shining more rigid. We see spindly trees and voluptuous squirrels. We’ll notice the wrinkles on our father’s faces are carved deeper than we like to remember and that our own faculties have begun to protest the season’s change, despite our fading youth. Despite the growing collection of milestones there are always a few items (institutions even) that make all of it worthwhile for me.
This fall I’ll carve my first pumpkin with my nephew of barely two. I’ll make Cock-Au-Vin with good friends while drinking good wine and laughing more heartily than Thanksgiving gravy. I’ll hug my parents harder this year, remembering that time is running against us. I also find that the music to my life changes too.
In the same way we stow away our T-shirts and flip-flops for winter, replacing them with sweaters and scarves: I’ll pull out my Sigor Rós records and dig through my closet for my favorite bottles of strong whiskey. I’ll trade the Dead Prez for Ray Lamontagne: Bloc Party for Buddy Guy: I’ll trade tennis racquets and balls for hockey sticks and pucks: I’ll trade frivolity for love and hope that my choices bear happiness for me and the ones I love.
Fair-trades in my estimation.