It's finally here -- fall, that is. Sure the school year starts in August, and places like Party City begin putting out their Halloween merchandise in late summer, but when that first chilly night makes a welcome appearance, then fall is here. I don't care what the calendar says. And though New Year traditionally marks the time when we all make resolutions to change, begin, or quit some part of our lives, to me, fall has always been the real season of change. Even nature agrees; just watch her silent transformation on a daily, if not hourly, basis this time of year.
If you can't tell, I have a slight bias for this season. I'm not sure when it began, but it might just have something to do with this season containing my all-time favorite holiday, Halloween. It might be that for the first time (as we go to print) I had my morning coffee on the patio. It might be the kids I hear playing football and Saturday- morning soccer games just down the street from my house at a neighborhood park. If I were to be cynical, it could be because my MLGW bill finally shifts from hair-raising to only slightly unsettling. But even as I try to describe how excited I am about the season, I know that I can't do the feeling justice. In fact, I've been rather at a loss for words with this month's letter, trying to convey my excitement and optimism for the coming months without sounding, well, cheesy, or heaven forbid, New-Agey.
And then I remembered a beautiful piece of writing by William Cullen Bryant, and knew that he could express what I somehow could not. Is it cheating to fill my column with someone else's words? Perhaps. But I also think that sometimes, you have to let go when someone else has already said what you needed to say better than you ever could.
AY, thou art welcome, heaven's delicious breath!
When woods begin to wear the crimson leaf, And suns grow meek, and the meek suns grow brief And the year smiles as it draws near its death.
Wind of the sunny south! oh, still delay In the gay woods and in the golden air, Like to a good old age released from care, Journeying, in long serenity, away. In such a bright, late quiet, would that I Might wear out life like thee, 'mid bowers and brooks And dearer yet, the sunshine of kind looks, And music of kind voices ever nigh; And when my last sand twinkled in the glass, Pass silently from men, as thou dost pass.
- William Cullen Bryant