I posted something and then took it right down because I didn’t like it. I’ve been in that kind of mood where no ideas really gel. I’m going to blame it on my early onset seasonal affective disorder. OK, I don’t really have that but there has been a common pattern these last couple of years for me to get a little bit sad in the fall. I do love the leaves but there are just way too many metaphors for death and dying in the fall.
I know winter is the worst but, for me, I’ve discovered that you can get through winter just by taking it a small chunk at a time and looking for little landmarks. Like when sunset makes it back to a certain time. And, during winter, you will sometimes get those wonderful thaw days and you might even get a hint of a southerly breeze which is just a promise of things to come. It was in the 80’s and nice here but it still felt more like summer’s dying breath to me.
I get the whole harvest thing and that’s a powerful symbol for some. Me, I prefer the symbolic rebirth that spring offers.
Anyway, since I’ve been a little blocked, I thought I’d just put all this on paper in a rambling form and see if it clears things out. Not all of these are directly fall related but maybe I just feel them more at this time of year. I warn you that some of them may be just a little out there so this is just another chapter of how my mind works.
- Empty, abandoned spaces – Our Fitness Center moved to a bright, shiny location in a new building earlier this summer. The old area was cobbled together by destroying a few conference rooms and it was cramped but it was where I really cemented my path towards a healthier lifestyle. Now, the signs are still on the door because nobody has scraped them off and there is a bulletin board on the wall that still advertises fitness classes from long ago (not sure why they didn’t take it down). Maybe it is just the remnants of the good energy that was there before but it was a place that served a purpose and now it sits as a partial storage area with some unwanted furniture stuffed into a corner.
- Progress that destroys trees – We are getting another shrine to consumption opening next year. I guess this is a popular big box type place that sells iconic furniture and the nearest location had been about 90 miles from us in another large city. So this means we are in the big time and everyone is excited. But there was so much land that needed to be cleared to give the store space and to build the roads needed so people can make their pilgrimages. It meant many trees had to die. I know it was not a beautiful forest and more like some scrub stuff that had been left over from whatever the land was previously used for. Still, I suspect it housed squirrels and birds and perhaps other creatures who were displaced before winter and now must struggle to find another home.
- Road kill – This time of year, a lot of animals are trying to forage for extra food knowing that winter is coming. So they are more active and having to cross roads and that often doesn’t turn out well. I know we are not in any danger of having these urban creatures go extinct but it still makes me sad to see a life casually snuffed out like that. I always wonder if someone wasn’t paying attention and could have stopped or just decided to go and take the animal out (some people do that). I suspect most of them are unavoidable as I’ve had squirrels make suicide runs in front of me and I’ve been lucky to have avoided them until now.
- Crickets – I love sitting outside in the summer and listening to the insects. The crickets, the cicadas and the katydids. It is one big difference between winter and summer. Winter is so deathly quiet and still while summer is alive and raucous and joyous. But have you ever had a cricket get into your garage or house? At this time of year, I’m sure they are following some internal programming to find a warm place to go. But the houses and garages are just a death sentence since there is no food. On the other hand, they aren’t going to live much longer so is it really better to capture them and free them. Either way, they are going to die.
- My flower bed – Many of the annuals I spent so much time planting back in May have withered and died. There are a few left with some bright colors but it is just a shadow of what it used to be. The ones that are left will only last until the first freeze which likely isn’t that far away. Watching them thin and die and knowing there is nothing you can really do since they are annuals and they live and die in one summer. They did bring me a lot of joy and I know I’ll be able to replant next year but it is sad to see the end come.
- The departure of the hummingbirds – They are such fun little birds to watch as they come to the feeder. Their colors are so vibrant unlike many of the other birds. But, one day, the males stop coming to the feeder. Then, the females slowly depart and it sits empty for a couple of weeks while I wait to see if any last stragglers need help. Then, I have to take the feeder in and store it for the winter.
There’s more but I really don’t want to ramble on anymore.
Just so I don’t end this on a depressing note, I will bring up something that made me happy today. This is Boss’s Day which I only knew because it popped up on Facebook. I hate contrived holidays (remember I’m all about being real) that just exist to sell cards. Besides, why should anyone feel pressure to get something for their boss. What if their boss is a real jerk who would take it personally if they didn’t get something. Feels more like coercion than a genuine expression.
Well, I had a meeting late in the day with part of my team. I’ve got a couple of different groups under me that do slightly different things so I have two staff meetings on Mondays. I’m noticing a folder being passed around the room and I can see that there is a card. That becomes more obvious when it gets to a guy who didn’t bring a pen so he’s trying to borrow a pen without attracting attention. I decided just to play oblivious and let it go. Normally, I pack up for the day after the meeting but I noticed one person hanging around outside my office while they gathered together to give me the card and a gift card to the Major Coffee Chain where I get my daily caffeine fix.
We joked about how they weren’t very stealthy but I gave them credit for the teamwork. I wouldn’t have cared either way but it was real and it was nice of them to do that. So my day ended on a happy note 🙂