I ADORE Autumn. I fall for Fall. Where some people get "the itch" for SPRING cleaning, I get it (well, at least what passes for it in me) in the Fall. It's an urge to tidy up and settle my nest in anticipation of Winter.
I love the colors of Autumn, I love the turning, changing trees, the gradual diminishment of the garden, the crisp and fresh days, the blue of the sky. I love getting out the long-sleeved shirts, shaking out the scarves and caps I knitted last year. I love shaking out the breathtaking long down coat with fur-trimmed hood that a friend gave me. I love lining up what I want to read on the long snowy nights over my tea or cocoa or melasaneppe (see below).
I adore scrounging through the stash and planning new knitting projects. I'm inspired by all the characters living in my head and waiting to emerge as children's stories. An occasional poem even creeps out of my brain.
The anticipation of the Fall is one of my most favorite feelings.I'd have to say it's equal to the excitement folks feel for Christmas in the best meaning of the Season.
But forever more, the first time I feel this wonderful anticipation, which I think of as "the Snap!", an almost-audible sound of the Wheel turning, the year changing - is touched with a single, bitter and deep little poignant pinprick of Sad. The joy of it all brings with it the Realization that it's September 11th. I don't "spend a moment of silence", I don't "bow my head in a moment of prayer". But I do Remember. I will always Remember.
I step briefly into a dark room in my mind, furnished with heavy dark furniture, heavy drapes, small candles offering sparks of illumination. The walls are filled with heavy dusty books as far up as the eye can see; maybe the ceiling is Heaven. And while I'm in that room, I think of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon on That Day, the field in Pennsyvlania. I also think about John F. Kennedy. And the submarine "Thresher", the shuttle "Challenger".
And I remember Christmas Eve, 1963. I spent the evening with Peggy, my BFF (we didn't say that then, of course). And late, after we'd gone to bed, the phone rang. Her father (with whom she lived) answered it. It was for me, and it was my brother-in-law, telling me that my father was gone. It was a heart attack. He was 52. That was the deepest sadness of my life. I think about all those things in the Dark Room of my Mind. And today I thought about all of those things. It's September 11, and a lot of us are visiting our rooms today.
"Melasaneppe": to a cup of boiling or very hot water, add pure 100% maple syrup "to taste" (in my case, 'til it's the color of strong tea). Stir. It's the most energizing, refreshing beverage, hearkening back to the Shawnee peoples of the East.