Another year almost gone! It’s hard to believe that summer is over and fall has arrived. The nights are cooler, the days are still warm and sunny, at least in my little corner of the world. But that will change soon enough. When I go out in the morning, the dew on my car windows has to be wiped off with a towel, but soon that will turn to frost. It’s come close a couple of nights.
As one of my friends put it, only in Canada will you scrape the ice off your windshield to go golfing.
Watching the weather news, I’m appalled with the kind of weather so many are experiencing again this year–hurricanes, tornadoes, weather bombs, flooding, and even droughts. If we could move the rain to the drought-stricken areas, it might help, but not even the smartest scientists know how to do that. Last night on the news, I watched as they showed the mighty Columbia River whose water levels are lower than they’ve ever been.
Isn’t it time that even the skeptics agree that climate change is real? I’ve heard arguments on both sides of the story, and even if this is just another stage in this planet’s growth and development, we need to consider what we can do to adapt. Doing what we’ve been doing isn’t working!
There were more forest fires from lightning strikes this year than ever, not to mention those caused by human stupidity–kids playing with matches, people burning garbage, and people setting off fireworks without the proper precautions.
And there’s the political mess we’re in. Wars, posturing, threats, inflation, deflation, homelessness … It reminds me of the Billy Joel song, We Didn’t Start the Fire. Everything happening today is simply an extension of what happened in the past. We couldn’t stop it then, and we’re still trying to stop it now. Change? Growing pains? Whatever we want to call them, they’re definitely painful.
Autumn isn’t my favorite time of year. Sure, I like pumpkin spice, the brilliant reds and oranges of the maple leaves, the milder orange and gold of the oaks, and the yellows of the birches set against the evergreens. Fall is full of birthday celebrations in my family, too, which should make it a happy occasion.
My mother turns 96 on Friday and my husband will be 74 in October. Two of my granddaughters will be 16 and 17 in November and my eldest son will be 51 that month, too. Before fall is finished, my eldest grandson will turn 18. I remember turning 18. I had such grand plans … While that all contributes to my feeling old, it saddens me even more to think that my generation may have made things worse rather than better for them.
Fall is also filled with some sad memories. I lost my father 4 years ago come October. He was my rock, and I miss him every day. Grief is different for everyone. For some, it’s a crippling pain that can’t be assuaged. For others, it’s an ongoing sense of sorrow that eventually leads to remembering the good old days.
It never goes away completely, but given time, it’s possible to move on. For some, that time might be weeks, months, or even years. For others, they haven’t reached that spot yet.
I remember my dad’s smile and his sense of humor. He also had a great imagination which he passed on to me. I feel closest to him when I’m writing. He was very proud of what I accomplished with my books. His favorite was On His Watch.
So, as I walk into fall, I’ll enjoy the scents and sights, laugh and celebrate, but I’ll also take a quiet moment to sit and think about Dad. I believe he would be thrilled to see that I’m still writing.
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I’m a retired high school English teacher turned author. I’m Canadian. My husband and I have been married 48 years and have 3 children and 5 grandchildren, as well as 2 step-grandchildren. I enjoy traveling, especially somewhere warm in winter.