Saturday, September 8, 2018

THE TRANSITION TO FALL MEANS. . .



     FALL: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU?

Fall is here in the Northern Hemisphere. Spring is here in the Southern Hemisphere. It's like two sides of a street in my neighborhood: Fall on the left, "spring" on the right. But I know that the left
side has the trump card where I live. Fall is here!





                                                                           Brutchser Street, Newberg, Oregon Photo by author 2018

What on earth does Fall mean to you? You're in the transition from summer to winter based on the angle of the earth to the sun. That's the scientific reality. But people have attached emotions and meanings to the seasonal shift.

According to the excellent Wikipedia article, people have long attached sadness to fall and/or have called it an unhealthy season. To a fantastically brillliant poet, William Butler Yates, fall represents his own aging process and that he must now face death.

My wife has a cheerier thought. To her, it means an abundance of fruit to preserve--to can.


Peaches at the fruit stand.



Pears from the farm, ripening on the bedroom floor.

Ripen the fruit. Remove the pit, the seeds, the skin. Load it gently in the jar. Fill the jar with light syrup. Boil it, cap it, enjoy it throughout the year and even into next year or beyond. Canning; one meaning of fall for her, her family, my mother. I guess I'm a lucky guy.

For many, Fall means returning to school or entering school for the first time. First day can be scary. Soon you're used to your teacher(s), make new friends, find out where the cafeteria is and how to use it. The scariest first days give way to routine. You study and get good grades, right? School is good, especially when it's raining out of doors. Warm, dry, and new ideas.

During Fall, Hallowe'en comes along. You dress up like an imaginary thing--a ghost, a monster--take your choice. You go out in the evening hoping to scare the heck out of your adult neighbors so that they'll treat you. (Actually, they're playing to be frightened but actually having a better time than you.) 

Hallowe'en in Germany means (or used to mean?) keeping the graves lit with candles to keep the dead in place in their coffins a meter or so down under the soil.

Fall. What does it mean to you? If you want to share, leave a comment. Other readers and I will appreciate your idea.

To me, it means the shortening of daylight and the lengthening of night-time. And, being older now, like the poet Yates, it's a time of reflection on my own aging process. Not necessarily with a sense of sadness, but with mild foreboding. Gosh, I gotta go to the Memory Care meeting sponsored by my Friendsview Community on September 20. I sure hope I remember.

No comments: