Wednesday, October 07, 2009

As autumn stirs

Autumn arrived on a Monday this year, not according to some number on a wall, but just as she always does, with a familiar and unmistakable change in the air. A certain chill which serves notice that while winter may not be imminent, it is also not all that far away.

Autumn is a reminder. First, of autumns gone before. Then, of itself, of all the things that autumn is--windy days, a high school football game, Halloween and Thanksgiving, trees surrendering their leaves in grand displays of oranges, yellows and reds as the Earth slowly falls to sleep.

The autumn wind seems to stir up a rustle of memories. I think of Homecoming dances and driving my Ford Escort to school, rolling yards and backyard football games. I think of camping out, singing every song we could think of, and no one complaining when I broke into my beyond bad falsetto to sing "Sherry, Baby." I think of girls I knew and almost knew. And I think of jumping into big piles of leaves as a kid, and Thanksgivings when everybody I loved was still here.

Every year has one and only one, that first day of chill in the air when summer finally relents, knowing its hottest days have been spent.

There's a comfortableness. And yet something nostalgic. It's nothing you can grasp or hold in your hand. Just something you feel, and know, without being able to explain.

Summer is freedom--sunglasses and a smile. Winter is harsh and lonesome. Spring holds promise of things new and fresh, and the hope of something better.

But autumn?

Autumn remembers.

"The last time I saw her it was turning colder, but that was years ago. Last I heard, she had moved to Boulder. But where she's now I don't know..."


  1. I get to be first again? Wow. It's like winning the lottery :)

    It sure was good to see another Bone post pop up in my reader this evening: I think this blogtober thing is agreeing with you. Especially if everything you churn out is half as good as this.

    From the first line to the last, you really got her. But this line is my absolute favorite: trees surrendering their leaves in grand displays of oranges, yellows and reds as the Earth slowly falls to sleep.


    It doesn't hurt that autumn is my favorite time of year, either.

  2. We had that day last week with the heavy rains and it has been cool all week long. I miss the summer but your post almost makes m like the cool weather. Your first blog of the the 27 days is a good one.

  3. Ah, nice post. I love October, especially.

  4. I couldn't agree more that autumn makes you reminisce. I always step back into my teenage years. And, sometimes Thanksgiving as that's when my mom's side of the family would gather to eat turkey. Hope all is well.

  5. That is so true, autumn does make us remember. I don't know if it's the fear that we won't survive the winter to come, the colors, or some predetermined yet still undiscovered biological phenomena.

    I wonder at your description. I've not been to Alabama, and I think of it as ever warm and humid.

  6. I had to read this about 6 times. Because it pierced me. Love it.

  7. I hear rumors that it's Autumn but instead of seeing that we get nice hot days followed by freezing cold days of snow!

    I miss real seasons. LOL!

  8. TC - Yeah, I thought I'd try two in one week for a change. It feels good.


    PennyCandy - Well don't get me wrong. I miss summer, too. Summer and fall are my two favorite seasons, and it's really close, but I guess football edges the beach ever so slightly :)

    Thank you.

    Actonbell - Thanks. There's lots to like about October. For me, it's football :) And the weather. It's not too hot, not yet cold. Here, anyway.

    Michelle Johnson - It's neat how it makes us both think of similar things. Thanks for the comment.

    Cooper - I'll take undiscovered biological phenomena for a thousand.

    Well, it seems like what I'd consider true autumn weather, we only get here for a few weeks. We're still having some 80 degree days here and there for now. And here lately, it seems winter comes for like a three-day weekend and then is gone. We hope and wish for even a couple of inches of snow, just once. And by we, I mean I.

    Susan - I'm rather enjoying it myself. So far, so good anyway.

    Cami - Well. thank you :) That's sweet and means a lot.

    Renee - Yeah, our autumn doesn't seem to last as long as it used to. And our winter barely exists. But we had five or six days of just about perfect fall weather last week. Now it's back to rain almost every day again.

  9. I don't know what to say that's fresh or unique. I too loved this post. you're a pure Southern writer Mr. Bone (which sounds so wrong and trivializes your work)

    So please keep writing or maybe your mind is telling you it's time to step back and put together an anthology of best posts and submit them. You just have a beauty to your cadence that makes me want more and more.

    Bone pays me for these ringing endorsements :)

  10. oh since I moved here I have found that Autumn has more than a few false starts but that could be because I'm more south and near the ocean. I understand what Cooper said as you used to totally confuse me with weather things

  11. I don't think I've ever heard a Garth Brooks song that I haven't liked. The man is a genius, and even if that song is bloody depressing, it's still beautiful.

  12. I love this post and I love autumn. Well, in principle anyway... the dark mornings and the windswept walks to work are a bit less lovely in reality, but I love the memories and the leaves and the crunchiness.

    There was a hymn we used to sing at school (the lyrics to which are here), which was always my favourite school song and even now invokes for me all the best things about autumn.

    Reading this was a great way to start the day - thanks!

  13. This time of year gives me beach fever! It's PERFECT beach weather.

  14. Love Autumn. It is my favorite season. I used to love driving home, going through Bankhead Forest or that stretch of road just before Cullman and enjoy the bright colors. Now that we are not in severe drought I am hoping for a spectacular display here.

  15. Pia - Well, thank you Miss Pia.

    Bone pays me for these ringing endorsements :)

    Wait, I do? I gotta check with my accountant more often. Oh well, I'm sure however much we're paying you, it isn't enough :)

    Ah, false starts. I like how you worded that. Very true. And also, a football term. Did you learn that at the Harvard/Brown game?

    Capn John - Excellent lyric recognition. I like most of his music, especially the earlier stuff, but "What She's Doing Now" is definitely in my top five.

    J. Adamthwaite - Thank you. Windswept is a lovely word. I've never heard that song before, but I clicked on the link. Lots of imagery in those words.

    Small Town Girl - Really? I've never been to the beach in October. I've always wanted to go for one of the shrimp or crawfish festivals or something.

    I think the latest I've been was around Labor Day Weekend. Well, unless you count February.

    Not as fun.

    Kontan - Ah, we cut through there going to the football games on Saturdays. There's always a week or two in there where the forest is just breathtaking.

  16. Yes it does. it remembers. I was in Hartselle (well, near there) last week for a cross country meet for my daughter.. all I could do just about was remember when I was there as a kid. I learned how to sin in that beautiful rural Morgan County. I also learned what forgiveness is.

    Prettiest country and precious memories and the best cool weather makes everything sweet... winding thru the years.

  17. One last beach trip before the cold arrives is a must! The crowds are gone & the rates are cut in half! As long as there are no hurricanes, the clear, emerald waters sparkle like diamonds in the sun! There are festivals galore this time of year. Rain is in the forecast for this weekend but there a couple of great festivals. If your not traveling to Oxford why don't you give one a try?!

  18. I'm liking this blogtober material! Autumn/Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year. It comes, blooms (odd word for Autumn), and leaves quickly. I have to remind myself to stop; to enjoy the changing colors and temperatures.

    Autumn is like life; if we don't stop to enjoy it, it will pass just as quickly as it came.

  19. interesting. I was talking to shanester this morning about this coming weekend... And about the only thing I think of for october is... Long nights editing marching band videos... And then staying up at the post office in nashville until like 2AM at that automated poastage machine, sticking postage on 300 dvds...

  20. I just love this. Gorgeous writing.

  21. Autumn described it perfectly, Bone. When fall shows up, it's as if there are memories on the underbellies of every turned leaf, and as the leaves fall, memories abound. Your post really resonated...

    Hail to Blogtober~~

  22. Shelby - That's not too awful far from where I was born and grew up. We could be related! And by could be, I mean, probably are :)

    Small Town Girl - Well, I had to work this Saturday. But I'll definitely have to maybe plan a fall beach trip one year.

    Charlotta-love - Autumn is like life; if we don't stop to enjoy it, it will pass just as quickly as it came.

    It definitely seems all too brief. They both do.

    Java Boo Boo - That was fall? That felt more like winter to me. And not long after that, I think they passed a law making it illegal to spend two hours in a post office at night :)

    Mama Zen - Thank you.

    Sweetest in the gale - it's as if there are memories on the underbellies of every turned leaf

    Ah, you're such a poet. I could never say it like that. Thank you :)

  23. Autumn does remember, mistakes should not be repeated, commitments made should be fulfilled and the memories of special events can encourage us and move us to action. The past is embarassments, victories, failures and promises.
    enjoy the season!

  24. I have to agree that autumn is nostalgic for me as well. I always hate the thought of fall coming because that dreadful winter is creaping close behind, but in truth, its tough not to like fall... the holidays, the football, the colors...

    cheers Helene