Wednesday, November 23, 2016


I remember autumns of childhood and adolescent years, autumns that seemed long seasons of mild weather, bright colors, slow moving days, romps through woods, touch football, hardwood and pine tree smells.

I remember brilliant blue and gold autumns of Colorado.

Late as it is this year, I enjoy the height of color, the mild temperatures turning cooler, and the shortening days.

Last week, in mid-to-late morning, I sat quietly watching yellow, gold, red, and brown leaves fall in gentle breezes.  By early afternoon, breezes turned to winds, blowing and stripping leaves from trees, blowing them from raked piles, blowing open my unlocked back door and covering with ankle-deep leaves the walkway and steps to the front porch.

On an old postcard, I see an image entitled “Fall,” in which there are bare trees, wild winds, and a desolate landscape at late afternoon.

This is a fall we miss.  We are too busy decorating and lighting things for Christmas, consumed by shopping and holiday business.  We don’t notice the magnificence of the bleakness of the end of autumn, of the increasing darkness and desolation.  We concern ourselves with parties and glitz and not the starkness, the end of autumn, the end of the dark time of the year, with its sober sense.

Notes on Reading.  Nonfiction.  Nathanael Johnson, Unseen City.  Rodell, 2016.

Johnson urges us to become more aware of our natural surroundings.  Teaching his daughter the names of trees, he became interested in the natural world of San Francisco.  He urges us to take one animal or plant in our urban settings and learn as much about it as we can for a month.  He presents nine animals and plans in urban areas and write elloquently about their lives, including pigeons, squirrels, gingkos, and crows.  He presents also his daughter’s view of them and writes about the importance of seeing the world in a magical way, in a child-like manner.


About billwednesdayblog

Retired high school English and French teacher.
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3 Responses to Wednesday, November 23, 2016

  1. Kay says:

    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!!! Miss you !!!!

  2. MargaretMcNeely says:

    For the past couple of days, I have been walking in the woods behind our house. The first day, all I saw moving was a female cardinal – sat down against a tree and watched her. Yesterday, I watched a squirrel. Peace at home in my backyard cannot be beat! Happy Thanksgiving to you, my dear, dear friend.

  3. We can’t really know the light unless we know the dark – and only in the death of summer can the promise of spring arrive – thanks for the reminder to pay attention to the rhythms of the year.

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