The best part of Autumn is…

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The best part of Autumn is…

It could be the colors, bold against the tame gray sky; or the cool, damp air that makes you shiver deep inside; or the hot drinks—the coffee, the cocoa, the cider—that gently calm those shivers one at a time until they subside; or the Lake (I swear She smells different this time of year) on a brisk afternoon as She crashes against the breakwall in Her fury (or joy—I’m not sure which); or the geese in perfect form as they head to their southern homes.

It could be that it’s time for school, and all the neighbor children play together as they wait for the bus; or that it’s almost time for a birthday—another year older!; or that Thanksgiving approaches and I have to find a fine selection of snowmen for your Grandma; or that it’s time to start binding journals for Christmas.

It could be the apples (oh, how I love them!), or the tomatoes, or the two stubborn strawberries that are still ripening this week in spite of the chill; or that first scent of snow, crisp, cold and unmistakable; or that first magical snow fall—a covenant of all that is yet to come—that makes us smile with wonder; or the cold that bites at your face, chasing away your breath as you gaze upon a clear night sky.

More than any other season, Autumn—to me—is an image of change. It is never exactly what it was the last time you looked. It is never exactly what you expect. It is always faster or slower than you want it to be. It is always, always, always on its own terms. The best we can do is enjoy the show, I think.

The same is true of life. It never happens the way we want or expect, but it always happens with color and fury (or joy…and joy) to mesmerize us, if we will but open our eyes. Even the difficult changes will, in the end, reveal a beautiful story of God’s love.

So what is the best part of Autumn? Well…Autumn is, of course!

All my love,

Aunt Sarah

Tis the Season: AWs September Blog Chain

It’s time again for the AW Blog Chain, and this month’s theme is seasons. And just in time, I might add! I was going to share my poem, “Sniffle, Sniffle, Runny Nose,” but thought better of it. ;) Here, instead, is…something…very akin to my August piece.

*****

It is the last day of humidity, heat-induced migraines, and summer bugs.

It is the scent of a pumpkin spice candle, a cup of sacred recipe hot cocoa, the snow on the air—not quite ready to fall.

It is Christmas lists, apple pies, and canned peaches.

It is the red of the Maple, the brown of the Oak, and the yellow of the Birch who sheds her leaves at the very last.

It is a return to home, settling in, and the gray boot socks that keep the chill away.

It is Thanksgiving and a million tiny snowmen, the raising of the tree, the turkey—thank God for the turkey—and all the fixins.

It is Bing Crosby on repeat all, repeat all, repeat all.

It is the moan and rattle of a wind that grabs and shakes the Pine,

the rush and flutter of the sparrows hiding from dagger-tipped raindrops,

the cloud that billows from my nostrils, only to be consumed by the vast and frigid night around me,

the sniffle turned sinus infection turned bronchitis that will bed me for weeks,

the last of Momma’s tomatoes, hanging in suspense as they await their final destiny in a glorious pot of homemade chili,

the fury and calm of Superior, demanding our respect and claiming the body, the life, and the breath of all who refuse it.

It is the only door to the Great White Season.

In its unrelenting and beautiful death of all that has so far been—

and thus, the first hope of all that has yet to be—

it is my favorite time of the year.

It is Autumn.

*****

Don’t forget to check out the other AW bloggers in the chain this month! These folks are quickly becoming my favorite bloggers.

Ralph_Pines: http://ralfast.wordpress.com/ and direct link to his post
Aheïla: http://thewriteaholicblog.wordpress.com/ and direct link to her post
DavidZahir: http://zahirblue.blogspot.com/ and direct link to his post
orion_mk3: http://nonexistentbooks.wordpress.com/ and direct link to his post
LadyMage: http://www.katherinegilraine.com/ and direct link to her post
semmie: http://semmie.wordpress.com/ <<< YOU ARE HERE
llalah: http://www.twylanonsequitur.blogspot.com/
hillaryjacques: http://www.hillaryjacques.blogspot.com/
AuburnAssassin: http://clairegillian.wordpress.com/
laffarsmith: http://www.craftingfiction.com/
sbclark: http://www.sonyaclark.net/
FreshHell: http://freshhell.wordpress.com/
PASeasholtz: http://www.paseasholtz.com/
SF4-EVER: http://www.ulbrichalmazan.blogspot.com/
T.N. Tobias: http://tnt-tek.com/
IrishAnnie: http://superpenpower.blogspot.com
Proach: http://desstories.blogspot.com/
mada: http://questioningseeking.blogspot.com/
WildScribe: http://polyspace.wordpress.com

Slow & Sudden Change: Character Building

I have been daydreaming, I confess. I love this time of the year. I love that it’s warm enough to enjoy the outdoors and cool enough to not loathe it. I love how the color of the lake changes subtly with the coming of Fall. But more than anything, I love the trees (I know, right? Second verse, same as the first…).

Autumn happens slowly upon us. Day by day, we are surprised with a splotch of red or a brilliance of yellow. Every day is like a new revelation of the big bash that is coming. It’s like reading a book and having one sentence leap out of the page and into your heart. There is something slow and passionate about it.

But then, after weeks (sometimes months) of watching and waiting, Autumn wakes us to the celebration. Every leaf has turned, none have fallen yet, and we find ourselves enveloped in the glow of the Autumn rainbow of leaves. We can barely take it in, this sudden transformation; it blows our minds every time, and we ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at the magnificence of the change.

So which are we? Do changes happen slowly or suddenly in our lives? Or, like the Upper Michigan Autumn, is it both?

I’m contemplating this in terms of some new characters I’ve been working with. Three characters (or potentially four, but I’m not committed to the old man yet) share one life-changing event. And while there are immediate effects set into place, I’m also beginning to see that there have been (and continue to be!) splashes of color all along.

And not only from the time of the event forward, but prior to that particular moment. Elements have been in play for some time and the life-changing event simply brought some of them to the surface.

The question being: how do we determine which changes are slow and which are sudden? Ideally, I think the character would tell us herself.

Thoughts?