Thoughts by Richard Bleil
My friends are so excited. They are so much like me that I feel sorry for them. Although I do have some friends who are fans of summer, many of my friends, like me, love the autumn months and the advent of Halloween.
I realize that people tend to jump right to Christmas, but there are so many great celebrations that are jumped over when people start in with Christmas. It seems to start ever earlier. When I was a child, a store decided they wanted to try to conjure up a Black Friday like shopping season in the midst of summer and had a “Christmas in July” sale. Seriously? By the time Christmas rolls around, I’m so sick of the commercialism that I wouldn’t be heartbroken if there was never a Christmas again. How about a “July Independence Sale”? No, I guess the American Independence isn’t worthy of a month-long sale, as I see more and more July Christmas sales cropping up, like mold on my toilet.
Halloween is my season. I love this holiday, when you get to celebrate the circle of life and indulge your greatest fantasy. What is you always wanted to be? Whatever it is, buy (or better, make) a completely inappropriate sexy uniform for that job, and there you go. For a night, you are what you always dreamed you could be.
I remember the night that the thought of being no more scared me to the core. I absolutely could not sleep and went to my mother to talk with her about it. “Why are you afraid?” she asked, “can you do anything about it?” “Well, no,” I replied. “Then just accept it. I swear, how did you ever become a college professor?”
Okay, that last bit was a joke, but it was a sobering comment, and worked. I realized that one way or the other, this was all going to end. It’s part of the contract. If there was no death, life would never happen, so today I embrace the concept of death. It’s a reminder to live the best life that I can since it’s all temporary anyway. Is reincarnation real? Will I come back in another plane of existence? I have no idea. All I am guaranteed is this level of existence right here and right now, so enjoy it to the best of your ability, and try to do good along the way. What you leave behind will be the existence for those who follow.
It’s also fun to celebrate death every day. I have a skull that I call Edgar on my desk even as I write this, staring at me and grinning. It’s not real, of course, but very realistic and based on the cast of a skull that somebody found somewhere, so it’s frighteningly authentic looking. I guess Edgar is grinning because he knows what I have in store for me in the hereafter, which is more than we can say. Yes, I know, my religious friends will all say that they know what will happen, and I hope that for them they are correct. But, even if there is no afterlife, that’s nothing to fear. How often have you woken up without having a dream the night before? No afterlife would be like sleeping, but just not waking up. That’s not so bad.
This might shock you, but I drifted off topic. The point is that so many of my friends love the autumn, with Thanksgiving, the autumn colors, the kids returning to school (let’s hope they can stay there this year), the cooler temperatures, what’s not to love?
Living in Boston, autumn had a special place in the hearts of the people there. The fall foliage is so gorgeous just a little bit north of the city where trees are thickly populated. It is ingrained as such a part of the culture that even the meteorologists would take the time to track the fall foliage, and provide maps of where the foliage is beautiful, and where the peak beauty can be found.
Autumn officially begins on September 22, only ten days away as of the writing of this post, and four days if it posts when anticipated. I hope your harvest is in and your house is prepared for the bitter cold months, but until those days arrive, I hope you enjoy the weather and colors of fall. And, of course, once the bitter months do arrive, I hope you have a love of your own with whom to cuddle up and drink hot chocolate to stay warm just like I don’t. Happy Autumn!