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October 31, 2008

Why Autumn Matters

120pxautumntreeseasternus As only Rod Dreher could put it:

I do not want to live forever. Not in this place, not in this life, which is only a preparation for the life to come. Over a lifetime of autumns embraced and understood, we soften, we ripen, we mature, we are made ready for the harvest — and invited by wisdom to delight in the fullness of nature — and, if we have lived wisely and loved well, in the fullness of our own natures. Rilke’s prayer in “Autumn Day”:

Ask the last fruits to ripen on the vine;
give them further two more summer days
to bring about perfection and to raise

the final sweetness in the heavy wine.

Some people find autumn doleful, because the numinous awareness it brings of the truth of the human condition — of our longing for the eternal within the limits of the temporal — makes them sad. But then again, some people can’t tolerate stories without a happy ending. For those who find comfort in wisdom and rest in finitude, autumn is the most philosophically consoling time of the year.

Besides, if you ask me, ale never tastes better than in the backyard on a crisp fall day.

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For me, Autumn is harvest, that soul-fulfilling experience of the rewards of your summer's labor. I hope that the trees will turn in the new heavens and the new Earth.

Drinking that ale and being content fits quite well!

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