Reprinted from September, 2009
Winter is the defining reality and summer the escape. But what if the summer provided little if any escape??
The reality is winter is coming. But summer has barely arrived.?How many 80 degree days can you remember this year? Even the mosquitoes were nearly absent, taking a year off no doubt.? The more you think things will remain the same, the more they change.? ?
Conditions fuel angst, that something is not quite right.?Green leaves are falling from the trees, not changing until dried on the ground.?
There were no 100 degree days like I seem to remember from my childhood. And there were very few 90 degree days like I know I remember. Almost surrealistically, without swelter, we age into fall.?Even a certain knowledge box elder bugs and Japanese beetles will soon invade is in doubt.?
Pages are falling from the calendar with alarming regularity.?Days blur into weeks into years.? What is meant by the fall of one's life??Looking back over your shoulder will not bring back summer, or youth.?
Spring is for growth, new ventures; a metaphor for youth.??
Summer is the escape, the vacation, the reward, a time to feel unencumbered and imagine ourselves free.?
Fall is the time to harvest, to take stock in what we have, and to assess what we will need.? Preparations must be made for days which most certainly will be shorter and colder.?
Fall is the time to take measures for winter, when we will have to hunker down, stay close, exercise caution, relax, reflect and recharge.?
Fall is the time to pick apples, herbs and grapes.? ?
Fall is the time to take "daycations" to witness the brilliant change of color.?
Fall is the time for trout fishing, hiking a wooded trail, and planning the hunt.?
Fall is the time to attend food festivals and celebrations of life. ?
Fall is the time to revive a relationship, strive for original and uncliched articulation, to learn to be a good host, and especially to recognize and appreciate love.?
Fall is the time to fertilize the lawn AND our relationships.?
Fall is the time to seal cracks around windows, doors and our persona. ?
Fall is the time to stock up. It is also the time to take stock. It is the season we shift into a lower gear, adjust our attitudes and pull out the jacket.?
Fall is the time to look at what we have accomplished and what we have left undone.?
Fall is the time to better ourselves and strive for that ideal we long to attain.?
The change of season always causes me to wax philosophical, to challenge what I know, expect, and who I am.? ?
It seems I never attain everything to which I aspire, and I am rapidly not becoming the person I truly want to be. But, in order to grow, you have to set your sights high.? ?
Nobody ever entered a race wanting to finish last. You enter a race trying to win, and accept with humility your place. Such is life.?You aspire for things just outside your reach, and take pleasure in the heights you do attain, or not.?To aspire to greatness, even though you may not attain greatness, helps make the average person happy and feel balanced. It is my observation that those who are complacent or take stock in mediocrity are never happy.??
No gentle reader, your weekly columnist is not melancholy, merely realistically reflecting on what was and what will be. I have learned it does no good to beat myself up for the mistakes I have made, but merely resolve to do better.?
Until next time--
In to the Wind and this column are copyright 2009 Mike Gilchrist.? Readers, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org via email, or write to me at P.O. Box 255, Toledo, IA? 52342.