Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Fall for fall.

Good-bye, Summer! Hello, Autumn! The autumnal equinox hit Monday or Tuesday, depending on your time zone. Don't recall seeing that happen before, but I guess it does.

Lileks says that Autumn actually begins the day after Labor Day, but I'm willing to wait until now to call it. Why not? I'm not in school anymore. No one bought me glue sticks and loose-leaf binders. The leaves are still mostly green. Also the weather has been rather summery this September, and since August was not brutal, September 1 was not a big break from what had gone before.

There's a lot to not like about fall, at least up here in the temperate zone. Shorter days, rain, nekkid trees. Halloween starts around Labor Day, Thanksgiving around Columbus Day, Christmas---well, I think Christmas already started. At least I've been getting Christmas catalogs and charitable Christmas-themed mailings for weeks. In any event, you wind up living a month or more ahead of yourself all season long.

So what is there to like? Mold? Raking? Gutter clearing? Dying in the sweater you wore when you left the house and it was 40 degrees, and now it's 80? Spiders coming indoors, like the big black son of a bitch I smashed in the cellar yesterday?

Personally, I like the cooler weather, the scent of fall in the air, the snap of a crisp apple breeze. November becomes blah when all the trees are blank sticks, the sun sets twenty minutes after it comes up, and five days out of four there's some kind of precipitation. In December it's just as bad but you can hide behind the Christmas decorations.

All seasons have a rough month, usually. August has the dog days; April rains all the time; February makes you want to kill yourself. So does January. Okay, maybe some seasons have more than one rough month. But seasons give us the rhythm of life. The change of seasons revs up the engine again, turns on the lights, and jump-starts the internal clock, to completely screw around with the metaphors. It reminds you that that clock is ticking, it's time to get going.

Not that I blame people who seek the equator, places where the seasons never change*.Sometimes the urge to stop that clock is powerful, especially as we get older. As Dr. McKeoghoey, one of my characters from Larry and the Mascots, says, "When one gets to be my age the shortening of the days takes on much too powerful a symbolism."

I'm not there yet, but it may happen. Meanwhile, I welcome any change of seasons. But I'd rather be cold than hot, so I enjoy the switch from summer to fall---dark days, naked trees, spiders, and everything.

Bastard was the size of a quarter. Bastard.

*A pal of mine was stationed in Ecuador for a couple of years and said he got bored with one perfect day after another. Amazing, huh?

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