autumn

MTSOfan / Flickr / Creative Commons

On the stark, bare, claw-like limbs of the large locust tree above, a handful of crows had congregated. The sky beyond them could have come right out of a watercolor painting by Andrew Wyeth – the fading charcoal grays of a cloudy, mid-November day, right at dusk.

francolaria / Wikimedia Commons

Something about September has brought poetry back into my consciousness. It might be the way the amber, diffused light knocks the sharp edges off of summers harsh palette. It could be the rhythmic pulsations of the crickets that seem to serenade just outside every window. Possibly it has to do with the mild temperatures previewing just the slightest hint of the chill that will soon set fireplaces aglow.

We’ve been inundated for so many months with political exclamation points. How great is it now to be able to relax a bit and let nature remind us that there is more to life than Republican red and Democratic blue. Autumn is usually the most fleeting of our seasons here in Kansas. In terms of punctuation marks, winter is a cold, emphatic period. Spring is a colon: it simply says to us, “pay attention to what is about to happen.” What is about to happen is, of course, summer. Summer as a...

Richard Crowson

Every Fall, I pretend to be something that I’m not. Way before the Halloween costume season, I start wearing my mask. I disguise myself as someone who gives a flying whoop-ti-doo about their lawn. Dutifully, I put on the regulation home-owner’s weekend hardware store uniform—a baseball cap, jeans and a flannel shirt. Looking exactly like one of those Eddie Bauer-esque suburban dads who actually know what they’re doing when it comes to yard issues, I trek to the gardening department, buy the...

There’s no way I could not take a walk this morning. Aside from the intensive lobbying of my Airedale friend Ollie, the blue Kansas sky and ruby leaves of our pin oaks overpowered me. So I hitched Ollie to the leash and out we went, fully engulfed in another splendid crispy November autumn morning. And of all things, my mind turned toward the election results. I’m not very politically conservative and you’d think by now I’d be used to losing out in our very red state of Kansas. It’s hard to...

Fall is a time that always reminds me of when I was a kid growing up in the developing suburbs of Memphis. I had lots of opportunities then, to roam around the fields and woods, going no place in particular through nature’s leafy abundance. Sometimes I was Robin Hood, sometimes a yodeling Tarzan, and sometimes I was just a leaf-kicking explorer feeling the breezes that whispered of a weather change just around the next weekend. I didn’t know it exactly at the time, but what I was doing out...