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September 21, 2004 [ More archived home pages here ]

Third Season Signs

I was born in April, shortly after the start of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Spring is my first season, when new life begins to bloom and the weather warms slowly from the last days of Winter.

I never did like Winter and even living here in San Diego, I still don't like it. The days are too short. That's what bothers me the most about Winter. The less I say about Winter the better.

The Summer is my favorite season. The long days and best weather create the best feelings in me. Most of the really enjoyable times of my life happened during the Summer.

Autumn is the Third Season to my reckoning. It is the time of reminders of the months ahead to prepare for and endure.

For each of over thirty years, I anxiously awaited the Chicago Tribune Magazine's Fall edition showing the famous 1912 article, Injun Summer, by Joe McCutcheon. I read that story countless times, frequently getting lost in the story, imagining I was was sitting there amongst the participants in the visions.

When I was young and living in Chicago, it was a time of raking fallen leaves. After collection, those leaves would burn with an acrid odor near the street curb and the smoke watered your eyes as it drifted by your face. It was a time when school started up and light and then heavier jackets needed to be worn. Soon afterwards gloves were pulled out of a closet and stuffed into the jacket pockets to protect hands from the damp cold rainy days of Fall.

When we lived in Naperville, Illinois, we had trees on our 1/4 acre property that shed leaves by the millions. I used to rake them up over a series of weekends and piling them on our front sidewalk for municipal pickup. Each year that pile amounted to about 60 feet long, 2 feet wide, and about 3 feet tall. I held contempt for each and every leaf in that pile. Each following year the leaves extracted revenge by creating more leaves to inundate our property.

Fortunately, we don't have a leaf problem here on our property in San Diego. For one thing, the trees are small and the leaves that fall are handled by the lawn contractor we hire. There's always more than one way to skin a cat. ;-)

I find the Third Season more enjoyable here in San Diego. The mild weather is just slightly cooler than the Spring and Summer months. The weekend football games and especially Monday Night Football are welcomed and they take me through most of the forthcoming Winter.

Nat King Cole sang a song named, Autumn Leaves. The lyrics tell of a somber mood, a loss of love, a disconnect from the comfort of Summer. The 1960's song by the Cascades, The Last Leaf is another song about the end of a relationship. Both songs capture a certain feeling, an essence, a time of my life in days gone by.

This year's Third Season is different in a small way. I'm more active in the community than I have been in years. Sherry and I are talking about some short trips together. Our daughter is coming to see us in a couple weeks. I'm creating art again and considering what to write and reveal in my book [link since deleted]. This year, Autumn brings a new outlook, new opportunities, a new Third Season.


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