Tuesday, 22 September 2009

September/Fall/Auumn (antipodean Spring)

This morning, a radio announcer here in the USA announced “today is the first day of autumn”. The he added that the equinox was at (Daylight Savings Time) 5:18 p.m. in our eastern time zone.

It was not until later in the day that it occurred to me that he had said “autumn” and not “fall”, the usual North American word.

Both words have good and ancient pedigrees. “Autumn” comes via older French languages, and “Fall” via older Germanic languages.

My heritage leads me to prefer autumn. I hear it as a softer and gentler word than fall.

Had I lived before the 16th/17th centuries in England, I would have called the season “Harvest”. The great migration in that era from the countryside to the town/city led to the abandonment of “Harvest” for “Autumn”.

You’d never have guessed today that we had entered autumn if you lived in my neck of the woods. It maxed out at 100F !

And for friends such as Andrew McGowan in Melbourne, Australia, today began the first day of spring.

As they say in the real estate and retail businesses: “location, location, location”.

Here is an autumnal poem written in north America. My good friend Jeanette Roosevelt forwarded it to me

September Meditation

I do not know if the seasons remember their history or if the days and nights by which we count time remember their own passing.

I do not know if the oak tree remembers its planting or if the pine remembers its slow climb toward sun and stars.

I do not know if the squirrel remembers last fall's gathering or if the bluejay remembers the meaning of snow.

I do not know if the air remembers September or if the night remembers the moon.

I do not know if the earth remembers the flowers from last spring or if the evergreen remembers that it shall stay so.

Perhaps that is the reason for our births -- to be the memory for creation.

Perhaps salvation is something very different than anyone ever expected.

Perhaps this will be the only question we will have to answer:

"What can you tell me about September?"

Burton D. Carley

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