Autumn: I Am In Love, Part 2

I WOULD like to give all the credits to my persuasive skills. But by doing that I was just being utterly presumptuous, when in actual fact, its more like I was twisting their arms until they said yes. But whatever it was,  I managed to get friends to share their thoughts on my favourite season. And I was and still am beyond esctatic and humbled by their generousity of their precious time and words…

They claimed they don’t write well but reading the words that being written, just like I suspected all along, autumn brings out the poet in you, well in this case, them…

Things like Jeffrey’s “Shops begin to start stocking winter clothes in aniticipation…” to Daniel’s “Underfoot is the crackle of freshly fallen leaves, but not the barrenness of empty trees…,” to Markus’ “I also remember the soft floor when walking through the wood because of all the fallen leaves that were already on the ground,” and Hans’ “Sensible people spend November 11th sipping spiced tea with honey and pouring over travel catalogues full of white beaches, palm trees and cloudless skies…” are perfect description of what I have in mind whenever the word autumn is bubbling under the surface…

 

wald_06Jeffrey (Australia) — In between droughts and flooding rains comes autumn… and to many Aussies this great relief can’t come soon enough. The scorching summer has finally faded, its back has been broken and once we can live like civilized people. God indeed is merciful. The summer sport season is over,  cricket plays its last innings, and Aussie rules footy is now on the minds of Australian sports fans. Shops begin to start stocking winter clothes in anticipation, with electric blankets,  heaters, woolly socks raincoats and scarfs, though hardly cold enough at this stage to make a sale, we all laugh “it’s not cold! I won’t buy it”. Those wise will buy it. Vegetation begins to green, most noticeable are street verges and paddocks which turn from brown to a light green. Farmers pray for rain…but will it? Autumn in Australia is truly a time of change.

 

fall5Daniel (USA) — Autumn is the best time of the year. After the heat of the summer, and before the cold harshness of winter, comes crisp clear air, warm during the sunlit days, and chilly, but not cold, during the evening. Underfoot is the crackle of freshly fallen leaves, but not the barrenness of empty trees. . Moderate weather – not too hot, not too cold. A light jacket, hoodie or sweater will do. Early sundown the sunlight streams at a sharper angle than the overhead baking kind of summer. Almost horizontal from late afternoon on. Football season – reminds me of playing (American) football as a kid…practicing during the week, or a pickup game with friends, with the official league game on Sunday morning or early afternoon. Before sports was about money and sponsorships, just sports for sports sake. As Thanksgiving draws closer, the days get a little shorter, the air a little colder, the trees a little barer. Before you know it, winter is upon us and sends its shiver down upon us that will last straight until the first dawning of spring.

 

herbst-schweizMarkus (Switzerland) — When I was a child and my father was still alive (he died when I was nine years old), autumn was the time when we visited my grandmother (my dad’s mum) in the south of Switzerland (Tessin) for two weeks with the whole family (father, mother, my two elder sisters and me) during school holidays. That meant long walks through the wood, we collected sweet chestnuts and my father roasted them in a black kettle on the open fire. I always enjoyed that. I also remember the soft floor when walking through the wood because of all the fallen leaves that were already on the ground.

As a grown up, autumn means (positive and negative): You change your t-shirt against warm pullovers. It is dark outside when you wake up in the morning and it is dark outside when you come home from work (it starts getting dark at 4pm… ). Heavy rain and temperatures between 8 to below 0 °C. You have to move the plants from your balcony into your apartment. It means not using the bicycle as often as I intend to (I usually avoid using my car on weekends). Beautiful foggy landscapes when the sun comes through, with trees of red, brown and yellow leaves. It’s the time when peanuts in their peel and mandarins are sold in all food stores, it’s when they already start selling christmas decoration…
For me, autumn is like an in-between-season, summer is defined by the warmth and sun, winter by the snow, skiing and so on, autumn is just the transition between these two….

fall4Hans (Holland) — November 11th is the feast day of Saint Maarten. This feast was happily forgotten for decades until some person coming from a long line of ancestors with qualities that cannot be mentioned in civilized writing decided to revive it. For some incomprehensible reason the idea caught on and now Saint Maarten is celebrated all over the Netherlands. To appreciate the issue you have to know that November 11th, by some freak meteorological law, always has persistent, mind-numbing, soaking drizzle. The one time I remember we had no drizzle we had sleet.
So on November 11th the school children are rounded up in the evening, after dark, and are taken for a procession around the neighbourhood. The kids are excited, because they were told people will give them candy and because they can swing around their paper lanterns with lightened candles inside (this to keep the parents alert during the whole ordeal).
Of course, as parent you cannot escape the matter. After all, the people organizing it are the same ones that grade your kid. Lucky people stay dry and warm inside their houses on this day, so the harvest of candy is understandably low. Therefore the unhappy parents have to buy candy for their children to avoid their precious tender souls to be scarred by disappointment.
Sensible people spend November 11th sipping spiced tea with honey and pouring over travel catalogues full of white beaches, palm trees and cloudless skies. Next year’s vacation destiny will be somewhere dry and hot.
Autumn is the time of the year that has the feast of Saint Maarten as its highlight. Your honour, I rest my case…

“All things on earth point home in old October;
sailors to sea, travellers to walls and fences,
hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds,
the lover to the love he has forsaken.”

(Thomas Wolfe)

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