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What is the Best Season, and Why is it Fall?

As summer closes in a blaze of (record!) heat and humidity, I look forward to my favorite season: Autumn! Every year I relish in the cooler temperatures and seeing the sun rise as I walk the dog. I was a leaf-pile jumper and a connoisseur of red windbreakers even as a child, and I’ve kept the fall at the top of the list. My farm-raised mother loved the harvest festivals of her small town and the holidays (now oversaturated) with pumpkin spices. Despite the creeping commercialism, nothing warms the soul like a walk in the woods at this time of year; amber, rust and alizarin crimson fluttering like the birds in John Clare’s poem, “Pleasant Sounds.” 

The rustling of leaves under the feet 

in woods and under hedges; 

The crumpling of cat-ice and snow down wood-rides, 

narrow lanes, and every street causeway; 

Rustling through a wood or rather rushing, while  

the wind halloos in the oak-toop like thunder; 

The rustle of birds’ wings startled from their nests 

or flying unseen into the bushes; 

The whizzing of larger birds overhead in a wood, 

 such as crows, puddocks, buzzards; 

The trample of robins and woodlarks on the brown leaves, 

and the patter of squirrels on the green moss; 

The fall of an acorn on the ground, the pattering  

of nuts on the hazel branches as they fall from ripeness; 

The flirt of the groundlark’s wing from the stubbles –   

how sweet such pictures on dewy mornings,  

when the dew flashes from its brown feathers. 

Join us at First Unitarian Society on Sunday, September 17, for our Fall Equinox Celebration and Festive Lunch.  In gratitude for the beauty and abundance of the harvest season, we will collect non-perishable foods for the food shelf at Masjid An-Nur in North Minneapolis. 

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