Fall speaks of slowing down
By Michael O'Hare
Published: Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, 8:54 p.m.
As years go by I can't help but think of the fall season with renewed appreciation.
I always felt summer was my favorite season, whatever that means. I guess it reflects the sense that summer is less confining, one can take out the garage without putting on a coat, there are comfortable chairs on the porch and it is a good place to sit and watch the world go by, away from the TV that gives us the world with a surreal tinge.
Fall for a kid is school and maybe football games and dances and homework and new clothing that one compares to the new clothing of other students.
When we are older, long after school, fall means impending winter, a brief respite of cool and color followed by bleak and cold and tricky driving and the start of an endless number of holidays for which you have to do more than just turn on the grill.
So where does my appreciation come in? You might well ask.
Fall speaks to me of slowing down, as does the growth of the grass and all things that grow from the ground.
Fall is an honest season. Trees make a last gasp at beauty and then simply drop their leaves and all that pretense of being mighty.
This is really life, is it not?
We have had some pretty humid, summer-like days lately, and to be sure it is still a few weeks to the actual start of autumn, but soon enough the air will cool, dare we say chill?
We will put on sweaters and other cool weather apparel in the manner that we put on love. It is best layered about us, like the warmth of a loved one sitting near in silence. That is important in fall and in life.
Growing things and animals prepare for winter with built-in protections like thicker coats, a sleepy disposition and the like.
After all we do the same things. As we age we get colder easier. Sweaters are not just fashion statements. Naps are essential.
Fall is an great time for observing, yet it is the kind of observing that we keep to ourselves if we are older. Much as you would like people to understand what you are seeing you just sort of resign yourself to knowing they must learn for themselves. Fall, therefore, is a personal season.
In spring, we rush to get ready for summer, in summer we rush about to have fun as well as get outside work done.
But in fall, we work more slowly. Sure, we rake leaves and take in the outdoor furniture, but we don't do it with the sense of urgency we applied to jobs in the spring.
Watch, and you will know that day; the sun will be bright, but it won't have that searing edge to it that the previous days have had. You will know that we have turned that seasonal corner.
The colors of red and gold and yellow will seem appropriate, and why not buy that scented candle for the kitchen window sill.
Fall is a good season for meandering; like a river that once raged, we widen and slow down both in the fall of each year and in the fall of our lives. It just seems quite natural.
Meandering appears Fridays. To share your thoughts on this column (or on most anything) with Mike O'Hare, write to the Leader Times, P.O. Box 978, Kittanning, PA 16201 or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.