Autumn is time for melancholy thoughts. It’s clear to me on days with cold breezes and low-slung steel-tinted clouds. I can sense winter’s henchmen clearing the path for what comes next.
All days cannot be bright and cheery. You need time to steep in the tea of gray with no cream or sugar to mask the truth that a life well-lived has some painful steps along the way.
Fall turns my thoughts to all those in my past. Some were wonderful, and some were merely tolerable. A couple of them were horrible. All of them were necessary to build me into what I have become. I’ll get back to you someday when I figure out exactly what that is.
There’s an old Sunday school song that sticks around in your head if you let it. I think it’s called “He’s Still Working On Me.” Maybe you sang it once or twice. There’s a verse that goes,
“There really ought to be a sign upon my heart
Don’t judge him yet, there’s an unfinished part
But I’ll be better just according to His plan
Fashioned by the Master’s loving hands.”
Between the Bruce Hornsby, Ben Rector, AC/DC, and James Morrison lyrics, that song pops up from time to time. Sunday school songs are simple for a reason. Hard to forget, easy to remember.
I am merely a sum of parts made from great days and bad days. This— I know—is something we all have in common.
The essay that was supposed to be attached to those first three or four paragraphs slipped away in a gust of north wind as I fired up third-hand John Deere and stuck in my AirPods. I have a file on my phone that holds only melancholy music. I save it for the dreary days. Dreary can be a feeling, or it can manifest itself with atmospheric conditions that we cannot control. Both of those conditions were present this afternoon.
The second mowing of the leaves was on my agenda later this week anyway. I changed my plans because of the ominous weather reports I’ve gleaned from well-groomed television weather-guessers who report a whopper of a windstorm later tonight.
There was some quiet contemplation about dealing—now or later— with the four inches of wet leaves. I’d rather have watched a movie with the dogs, but I didn’t want a thick carpet of wet leaves hanging over my head when the old oak tree finally lets go of her overcoat. That will probably happen this evening.
You can crank up happy music anytime. I typically do. But matching the music to the melancholy has a remarkable way of removing internal cloudy conditions.
I blasted my way through ten or twelve of my favorites from a list of songs set up for days that are not my favorites.
Leaves blew left, and leaves blew right. Leaves blew over my head. I tasted leaves, and I breathed in oak, maple, birch, and alder. I blasted through Billy Vera, Safety Suit, Parachute, Cream, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and I even had a close encounter with Van Hagar. I closed it out when the mower sputtered and spit while starving for gas. Nursing it back to the shed by shaking it back and forth with the weight I’ve been blessed with— apparently for this particular purpose— I heard this one from Ben Rector:
“Through the ups and downs
I have figured out you find peace where you make it
Scenery won’t change it
And I wasted so much time
Thinking I could ever find enough of anything
That would bring me peace
So I found peace with who I am now
It’s the only me I’ll ever be, I’ve found
There are other places, there are a million other faces
I found peace with who I am now.”
(Peace by Benjamin Rector).
Sunday school songs are simple for a reason. Hard to forget, easy to remember.
I hope your week is wonderful. Thanks for reading my stuff.