Something for the weekend.  Autumn from the Four Seasons by Antonio Vivaldi.   Composed in 1725, like all of Vivaldi’s music it scampered into obscurity after his death, only to be surprisingly revived in the rediscovery of Vivaldi in the last century.

Fall has always been my favorite season.  Gone is the heat of summer and I find the cooler weather bracing.  The leaves in all their glorious colors, as they move from life to death, have always struck me as a symbol of a life well spent.  A time for action and meditation, at least in my practice for some reason.

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  1. I will make it a point to listen to it later today.

    We have discussed seasons before, Mr. McClarey, and we are in disagreement as to what is best, but that’s okay, as there is no one favorite season for everyone. Early fall can have its charms (in the North), such as surprisingly warm days, cool nights that are good for sleeping when one cracks open the bedroom window and the changing colors of the leaves on the trees, which is often a splendid sight in the Laurel Highlands east and southeast of Pittsburgh. The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad usually runs two trips a day from Cumberland to Frostburg during October. For those who partake of it, there are hayrides, bonfires and Oktoberfests. When I was a teen and into beer can collecting, bock beers were always offered in October. There is the World Series, the start of hockey and high school football on Friday nights. My boys are young enough to enjoy trick or treating.

    As further proof of the expanding lack of maturity among adults, my employer offers a costume day on Halloween. I plead guilty to partaking of this by dressing like Howie Mandel when he was hosting the Deal or No Deal show – complete with soul patch and hoop earrings. My wife hates it, but I think earrings look cool with a bald head. Call it my one concession to pop (slop) culture.

    I ca do without the fall sun glaring in my face while driving (it was nasty yesterday evening) and cleaning leaves is a job I can never complete until April.

    On the other hand, cooler and shorter days clearly mark the end of summer. Growing season is over and flowers begin to die. My son and I tried to grow pumpkin and tomato plants and sunflowers. Thanks to the weather, we got one tomato.

    Gone, for another year, are the long, warm days (not many this year). Gone are the carefree days of school age children who experience the far too rare opportunity to be kids – bike riding, swimming, tree climbing, visits to grandparents, vacations and daytrips, replaced by the routine of school and homework. Gone are the days of not having to wear a jacket – or coat.

    Autumn comes every year just as autumn comes in our lives when we realize we are not young anymore and more of our lives in this world are behind us than ahead of us. This is why the Church begins to focus on the Last Things as November arrives and passes.

    Off topic – I think it would be a good idea if, some year, the good folks who partake of Mr. McClarey’s blog set up a meet and greet on some weekend (it would have to be in the summer). A decade ago, I used to post regularly on a conservative message board and certain such meetings were set up. I went to one – a Saturday at Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. Just a thought.

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