Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn

I have always been somewhat bemused with the mainstream or pop culture’s propensity to be preoccupied with September. Growing up in Papua New Guinea and Orlando, Florida for me life was a perpetual endless summer with the only really noticeable change in the seasons being that it rained more than usual at certain times of the year.

Celebrating and observing traditions by the calendar date was just that. A tradition mandated by a calendar date, it wasn’t until I moved away from home, traveled, saw more of the world and celebrated those calendar dates and traditions in places where it gets darker and colder in winter, the sunshine is more greatly appreciated and almost worshipped when spring arrives, not only the people come out to enjoy it but flowers, leaves, birds, all parts of nature that if I had only ever experience winter would think were things of lore, figments of people’s wild imagination.

September seems to have a special significance in the world, though. Even the name of the month holds a significance or meaning that is no longer applicable but is still used. According to this Wikipedia article “September (from Latin Septem, “seven”) was originally the seventh of ten months on the oldest known Roman calendar, with March (Latin Martius) the first month of the year until perhaps as late as 153 BC.” Interestingly the same month also states, “September begins on the same day of the week as December every year, because there are 91 days in September, October and November, which is a multiple of seven (the number of days in the week). No other month ends on the same day of the week as September in any year. This month and May are the only two months to have this property.”

The Saturday before the first Monday of September is recognized as International Bacon Day. …That. Is. A. Good. Day!!!

Many people have had interesting things about the formally seventh, now ninth month.

  • “We know that in September, we will wander through the warm winds of summer’s wreckage. We will welcome summer’s ghost.” – Henry Rollins
  • “September: it was the most beautiful of words, he’d always felt, evoking orange-flowers, swallows, and regret.” – Alexander Theroux, 1981
  • “Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be short, but when we have had our swing of pleasure, our fill of fruit, and our swelter of heat, we say we have had our day.” – John Donne, 1620
  • “By all of these lovely tokens September days are here, with summer’s best of weather and autumn’s best of cheer” – Hellen Hunt Jackson

Since moving out on my own and traveling the world, meeting a myriad of cultures, people of like mind and the sort I would love to love but won’t as well as all of the ones in between. It conjures up to mind the song People Are Crazy by Billy Courington where the chorus goes “God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy.”

Crazy does not discriminate, it’s a condition that truly embraces people of all ages, types of pasts, going through a vast array of experience presents, who will go on to live out unfathomable futures that range to historically amazing to ones that will end in unmentioned heart wrenchingly sad solitude unnoticed in the heart of a crowd. Many of those I find so easy to dismiss as crazy, away with the fairies, mad as hatters tend to have a common interest that after a long enough conversation tends to rise to the top of whatever is boiling in the dark either of soul and mind.

Desperate to connect, find significance all in some bazaar pursuit to find a common bond or common ground on which they can get a foothold and begin the pilgrimage of forming new experiences with someone they can find friend ironically scaring and inadvertently pushing away the very people they want to get to know as a direct result of their efforts to express affection.

… For those of you who know, have been there, and been through the baptism of fire that is between Hallplatz and the Königstor downtown Nuremberg. We have immersed unscathed! Let us never forget the glory that is was, and will forever be a night out on the drink in Nuremberg. …Watch this if you need help remembering the sort of conversations you have endured while simply looking for a bathroom, or waiting on your Döner Kebab.

These people tend to ask me about my astrological sign, have some amulet or symbol attached to their jewelry to me it’s a gimmick to strike up or push-start a conversation and like George Carlin “I prefer to leave symbols to the symbol-minded.”

Still, it’s a recurring and seemingly unavoidable topic amongst Europeans, placing too much significance on star signs and dates. I know more than one German who has gotten into the esoteric meaning and coincidence of numerology. …Inevitably ending up going full Jim Carrey in the movie The Number 23. If you’re ever in Nuremberg at 2 in the morning, just go into any restaurant and let the conversations take their natural course. It’ll open an unknown world of even stranger daytime conversation with like-minded somewhat detached from reality strangers approaching you in the street during the day who want to discuss similar things.

I’ve found most people don’t really want to discuss anything. They want to be heard, to have someone listen and when you learn to simply listen to the conceptions and perceived reality of societies’ key decision makers will be revealed. At times, that can be a scary thing.

A decent example of what I mean can be found on the Wikipedia article about the Sapphire.

  • Etymologically, the English word “sapphire” derives from Latin sapphires, sappirus from Greek σαπφειρος (sappheiros) from Hebrew סַפִּיר (sappir). Some linguists propose that it derives from Sanskrit, Shanipriya (शनिप्रिय), from “shani” (शनि) meaning “Saturn” and “Priya” (प्रिय), dear, i.e. literally “dear to Saturn”
  • Sapphire was used as one of the twelve precious stones set in the Israelite High Priest’s breastplate during his service in the Holy Temple.
  • The Greek term for sapphire quite likely was instead used to refer to lapis lazuli.
  • During the Medieval Ages, European lapidaries came to refer to blue corundum crystal by “sapphire”, a derivative of the Latin word for blue: “sapphirus”.
  • The sapphire is the traditional gift for a 45th Wedding anniversary.

All of this is mildly interesting, but when you take into account that Sapphire is the birthstone of September which is the 9th month on the calendar the number nine can hold special meaning to you. Because sapphire is symbolic of your 45th Wedding anniversary and 4 plus 5 equal 9 the numbers four and five can hold significance. Throw in the etymology tracing the root of the word to Saturn. Saturn is the 6th planet from the sun and the original name of September making 6 and 9 interchangeable. The color can be interchanged with the number nine. On of the rings of Saturn orbits in retrograde at a 27° tilt to the other rings 2 and 7 equal nine making them interchangeable with September and before you know what’s happened a lunatic (or lunaticus meaning “of the moon” or “moonstruck”) is laying down the knowledge of the cosmos, revealing how all of nature is intertwined in a series of metaphysical vibrations that they learned from a guru selling weed and coffee beans processed through the digestive track of an elephant in Thailand and you’ll forget about standing in line for a sneaky Döner Kebab before bed and realize it’s a miracle that this society produced such amazing inventions as tissue paper, the pencil, modern highways, the .mp3 some of the best cars, Bier and advances in technology, medicine, philosophy, and systems of efficiency and productivity the world has ever seen.

Even Green Day’s song with powerful images of change, loss, struggle, conflict, survival, hope, and change all play out to the repetitive chorus of “Wake Me Up When September Ends.”

As I said earlier I believe George Carlin had it right when he said it’s best to “leave symbols to the symbol-minded.” This way of seeing life, the world how things work is not my belief system, but I hear it often enough that I comprehend the concepts, and rarely, in brief moments I’ll meet someone that actually makes sense with a more coherent thought process like this guy.

I like September for the actual changes that take place, all of my shows starting back up, the kids go back to school and autumn when nature gets extra purdy and all gussied up right before my favorite month.

October. For me every year, all year is all about getting to October. I love October.

“Ah, September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul… but I must confess that I love you only because you are a prelude to my beloved October.”
― Peggy Toney Horton

September has long since ended and we are now well into approaching the latter part of October. I have always loved October, when the days are shorter, but seem somehow brighter, crisper, and brilliant than all of the other months combined.

For me, October has always run a little quicker, more efficiently. Like everything just started working the way it was meant to. Akin to the last part of a run that has been long, challenging and arduous. The kind of run where each mile was hard earned, well deserved and there were moments you had to dig deep into the stuff your made up, test your intestinal fortitude and just friggin do it! Now that all of the pain and those miles are behind you and home is closer than the horizon your gait has switched into that of a victorious sojourner in the homestretch moving, breathing, being becomes miraculously easier. Inexplicably easier. Each step seems to quicken in a celebratory sense of unbridled triumphant glory that you and only you can even begin to comprehend. This was your run, not one step of the hellish experience was easy, but only because you loathe, despise, hate all things that come too easily. If it’s not baptized by fire, forged with an unyielding determination inspiring yourself and all those around you to rise to the challenge, revel in the struggle and thrive as a result. It is just plain and simply not worthy of your attention or effort. And the run you’re about to finish was more than worthy.

Speeding up for no one other than yourself is not an option. This secret ability to overcome and exceed is for you and you alone to marvel at, it teaches humility, reinforces self-confidence and the fewer who know what you know about you makes what you know more valuable. You know? By now you are at a pace that can only be described as a borderline sprint, the feet are no longer numb they scream in agony with each powerful spring loaded step, your fingers need blood, and oxygen the world is fading but you’ve got a goal and will finish this run like a champ!

That’s when it happens! The runner’s high hits, a second wind makes breathing the easiest thing you’ve done in life, you drift into “the zone” while willfully hurtling forward, ever forward to a finish line that only exists in you mind. Only those who have learned to love the runner’s high really know how exhilarating it can be.

I’m struggling to put to words just how I see and feel about October.

It’s similar to doing a canon ball into the cold water and that first gasp of air as you resurface which can make all of life suddenly seem and feel like you are experiencing it in ultra HD, the way it was meant to be.

I just really like October, and all it entails

Maybe these pictures of Wuerzburg in the fall can show you what I mean. I took my time before taking pictures of nature this year because warmth and the green leafs seemed to have lasted longer than any year I can remember.

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American expat in Germany, novice blogger, amateur artist, rehabilitated couch potato, smartphone addict, full-time father, husband and terminal nerd.

JDWOODYARD

American expat in Germany, novice blogger, amateur artist, rehabilitated couch potato, smartphone addict, full-time father, husband and terminal nerd.

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