Monday, September 22, 2014

The Reasons for Things

Autumn need not be anything special.

I find that hard to believe, however, each September when I take out my volume of Edwin Way Teale’s Autumn Across America. I am perennially willing to trust a book published in 1956 to guide me across still another season of flyways and harvests and dry leaves scudding across sidewalks.

I might suspect that I know more about autumn with each year, but I am not sure that is true. I am more sure each year that I do not know exactly what to say about all that stretches out beyond September 21.

I note chrysanthemums and corduroy. I bring up recipes for soups and breads. I search out sweatshirts and caps. I expect the surprise heartache one day of finding that I am walking with the wind in my face.

Winding my way between rows of old tombstones this coming autumn, I may get to feel at once easy and solemn. With the Roman poet of fields and harvests, I might well muse:

Felix qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas (Georgics 2.490)

Happy the individual who has been able to learn the reasons for things.

5 comments:

To live that day said...

As the years pass away, I find many questions seem more difficult to have answers, contrary to the common notion that serenity comes in our older age.
Enjoy the autumn, John

John said...

Aptly expressed. How good to hear from you.

Thank you.

Ur-spo said...

I love the fall, and all its rituals and glories. There is no cooking like autumn cooking.

ROBERT SCOTT CALDWELL said...

I do the very same thing; pull from my book cabinet -Edwin Way Teale, his 'Autumn Across America' -a great read each night before dropping off to sleep. Thanks. Keep up the writing,, -signed Bobby.

John said...

It might be time to plan a trip to Trail Wood in Hampton CT. Teale territory.

Thanks, Michael. Thanks, Bobby.