David Russell Mosley
23 September 2016
The Edge of Elfland
Hudson, New Hampshire
I’m certain I’m not alone but Ordinary Time is always rough for me. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this more than once. Normally, it’s the impending arrival of Advent that starts to make me hopeful again. But for some reason, now that Autumn has officially arrived, I’m starting to come out of my ordinal slump. Maybe it’s the promise of cooler temperatures, apple picking prospects, Michaelmas, and more that are beginning to turn me around.
In truth, I’ve always loved Autumn. Normally, I say that my favorite season is Winter. I am biased in this. Not only is it, for us in the Northern Hemisphere, the season that contains Christmas, but also my birthday. Now Winter and snow do hold a particularly close place in my heart, but Autumn is my favorite, or is my favorite as well (really, I just like living in places that have real seasons). Probably, as must be evident to you all by now, a lot of my love for this seas has to do with food. Freshly picked apples, freshly pressed apple cider, beautiful (and delicious) squash and pumpkins, the various and sundry delicious parts of that wonderful animal the pig, Autumn is a delicious season. The cooler weather also inclines us to eat a bit more and certainly to eat more sumptuously. Creamy soups, roasts, fresh baked bread are much more welcome in Autumn than in the heights of Summer.
Yet there is, for me, something spiritual as well. Maybe it’s the proximity of Michaelmas, that celebration of the angels who surround us, who serve God by guiding and aiding creation. After all, remembering the fact that we are surrounded, at least, by various angelic beings must help us understand that world around us is not limited to what we can see or observe under normal circumstances. Maybe it’s the fact that All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day are so close. Remembering the dead, both those who can intercede for us and those for whom we are called to intercede, reminds us again that life, that reality, is not limited to the phenomena around us.
Whatever the case, as everything slowly begins to die and I remember that I too am to die someday, I feel more alive, more awake at the just the promise of Autumn. What the reality of Autumn will bring, who but God alone can tell. I, however, will commit to being more jovial this Autumn. After all, Autumn himself is a jovial figure, presiding over our joy at the harvest and feasting and drinking deeply with the rest of us. I long to caper, to dance, to sing, to drink, to eat, to laugh. And I will! Or I will fail in the attempt, but I cannot, I will not leave it unattempted. So join me, won’t you, in praising our lively host, Autumn and all that he brings. He is Falstaff, Dionysus, Bacchus, Silvanus, close cousin to the Ghost of Christmas Present. He is not grave in the face of the grave. He is levity, of a different variety than his sister Spring. He is joviality itself, Zeus or Odin at the hearth of the poor, but generous, family. So raise a glass to Autumn and join us in the fun.