Updated: October 30, 2013 6:19AM
October is a dazzling gem in autumn’s colorful necklace. I say “welcome” even as I grumble in a loving way that it is upon us too soon — I am still savoring summer, erratic as it was.
Spring brings us the promise and October is the affirmation that this is indeed a beautiful world.
Time moves at its own steady, constant pace, unshakable, dependable. No bad knees. No arthritis. My pace, physical and mental, seems to become slower between seasons, and the march of time seems to pick up the pace. Maybe that is because time is ageless and we mortals aren’t.
I can see clearly the signs of seasonal change. Empty nests, aviary maternity wards, cleverly hidden around the yard. The young ones are out in their new world, learning how it is to be away from home.
On college campuses, romances are already budding and surely some will bloom. Already, theologians like Rev. Fred Niedner and his students at Valparaiso University are exploring the meaning of life, the mystery and wonder of our existence.
It is yet not quite October, and the best is yet to come for young inquiring minds. They have miles to go on their journeys.
Now, in the post-graduate semester of my long life, I remember, but it is hard to grasp the reality of how fleeting time can be.
The master time clock does strange things to our perspectives. As a kid, yelling at mules or driving a tractor in a dusty field, I felt that time moved in slow gear as I thought of the Saturday night free shows in town and a candy bar between reels, or a fishing outing with my dad and some uncles.
Later, when my young hormones awoke, I thought that my Wednesday date night would never come. Time seemed to drag, as if it were playing games with me. I can smile about it now, and I often do.
Between then and now, time has seemed to fly, as if it were on a magic carpet blown by big winds. It has been trying as time often does, to teach me a lesson about life. We often don’t pay attention and we miss the lesson.
We can fiddle with our clocks, but we can change the real time only in our hearts. It is not fast or slow, just steady. When it is time for the flowers to fade and then leave us, they will go. A new generation of beauty will bloom in the spring, with the birds, bringing us the timeless reminder that all is well.
There is comfort in that. This annual art show brought to us in October is a time for remembering that the falling leaves, the roar of football crowds, the incredible colors , the restlessness of the honking geese are all part of the free autumnal show.
I reckon that we should move as fast as we can — in our hearts if not on our bad knees — and try to keep up with the changing scenes. We know, if we stop to look and listen, that these wonders are constant, an assurance that we need.
Yes, this show seems to arrive earlier every year, but that is an illusion, maybe a sign of age. We older folks, though, know that this is all part of a constant script. Winter will bring its own loveliness with the cold winds. We can prepare for that new season by soaking up the beauty and bright warmness of October.
As we toast autumn and the gem of October with a glass of apple cider, we can remind our aging hearts that every season is a gift.