Though I work in the outdoors at all times of the year, autumn is my favorite season; summer is my least. After a week of mornings with doors open and air conditioning off, I believe we are at the turning of the temperature tide. Although the heat index briefly rallied a final time, the sun is in full retreat southward.
That’s not to say that summer is altogether evil! As a season, it has much to offer. But, having lived most of my adult life in the outdoor sauna that is southern Georgia, northern Florida, and Louisiana, I can be forgiven for thinking that one of autumn’s virtues is in succeeding summer, just as spring’s chief fault is in giving way to it.
I post this on the Autumnal Equinox, the official start of fall. Having now gained elevation and latitude since the last time I discussed this date, I am pleased to be in a place where “First Day of Autumn” may mean something more than just a promise on a calendar.
In a week or two, leaves will begin to turn. The air will grow crisp. Old bucks will overindulge on hormones, losing their wits and their guile. Some creatures will go to earth, others will take to the sky. And I will quietly immerse myself in the season, and hope to use well the restless energy that always rises as the leaves fall.
When autumn came, he knew that part at least of his heart would think more kindly of journeying, as it always did at that season. – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring