"My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." George Eliot, 1841.
Every season has her admirers, but it seems to me that Autumn wins the prize. Poets, songwriters, novelists, artists - Autumn never seems to exhaust their creativity. There is always another love letter to this colorful season waiting in the back of the imagination. Fall is definitely my favorite season. As a child, my reasoning was purely selfish: my birthday often falls on the first day of Autumn. As an adult, I appreciate Nature's gentle, beautiful way of telling me to slow down, to breathe more deeply, to appreciate the here and now which may very well be gone tomorrow. While my long, morning commute is never a source of leaping joy, the changing leaves at this time of year turn the first 10 minutes of drive-time into an Impressionistic masterpiece. A little music on the car stereo, and all is right with the world. (Until I merge onto the expressway.)
My colleague Linda Knorr wrote her own love letter to Autumn, "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year," over in Positively Ellinwood Street. One of our "regulars," patron Steven Gerard Wagner, surprised me with some lovely Autumnal tributes a few weeks ago. Mr. Wagner spent a day reading, remembering and translating some favorite poetical works, and sent them to me via email. I thought many of you would appreciate Steven's work, and so the "Autumn Leaves" project began. You'll find the Autumn Leaves, red and brown, scattered throughout our Web site and blogs. Click on the leaf and you'll get some lines of poetry or prose and some photographs, all but one taken right here in Des Plaines, all celebrating the beauty of the season. I hope you enjoy them - if you like to stop and smell the roses of Summer, take a moment now to cherish the Autumn leaves. Want to share your own photographs of Des Plaines in the Fall? Email me and I'll be happy to put them on our Web site: firstname.lastname@example.org