Thursday, September 23, 2004

Autumnal Thoughts

This is my favourite time of year. That may seem a little strange to some people, particularly those who see Autumn as the time when everything either dies or goes into hibernation. While that may be true, I still love this season. My reasons are many. I think I will take a cue from a friend and list them here for you.

Why I love Autumn
- The colours of the leaves, especially the Aspens in the mountains
- The cool and crisp air in the evenings following the warmth of the sunny days
- The smell in the air, particularly in the mountains
- The relief of cooler days after a long hot summer
- Football
- This is the time I usually travel down to Arches National Park and the Moab area
- Wearing short sleeves during the day and a jacket at night
- Early season snowfall in the mountains
- Crisp apples, right off of the tree
- Squirrels scurrying about, cheeks stuffed with winter's food supply
- The first morning frost
- Sleeping with the window open and plenty of blankets on the bed
- The smell of wood smoke from someone's fireplace
- That feeling of melancholy that creeps over me sometimes, saying that another year is coming to an end
- Hay rides
- Corn mazes
- And many more I cannot really articulate

Those are a few of the concrete reasons Autumn is my favourite time of year. There are many more ephemeral reasons—feelings, memories, emotions—that defy my meager attempts to put them into words. Perhaps the greatest reason is that it is finally cool enough in Southern Utah for me to go enjoy the beauty there. It is also the season that fewer people are visiting, so there are opportunities for solitude, surrounded by beauty, that one does not often get.

I guess it is also appropriate that this season should bring the news I received this morning. I have just been laid off from the company I have worked for the last seven years. I have felt it coming for a long time as the department I work in was reduced to myself and one writer. I was hoping it would last at least a couple of months longer, but that is just the way things work out sometimes. It comes just before my 40th birthday as well (as if dealing with turning 40 wasn't enough). I find myself hoping that this change will be one for the better.

That's all for now. I can't decide whether to go celebrate or just go vegetate for awhile. What a life.