I’ve just returned from a refreshing walk in the woods. The month of September, as a theme, is found in many songs, but two come to mind this September morning. Neil Diamond ends his hit of the same name, “September morning still can make me feel this way.” Then, with an altogether different theme, Frank Sinatra’s September Song says, “But the days grow short when you reach September, when the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame.”
What is it about this month- a month that begins the ‘How many days in a month?’ ditty? Is it the sight of the yellow school buses plying the streets? Is it the cooler temperatures and the first floating leaves parachuting down from the trees? The noticeably earlier sunsets?
The madness of summer has come to an end when the calendar is turned one page beyond August. There is an uncommon stillness in the chilled morning air that was muted by the brash sounds of summer. A slight bit of fog as well to enhance the stillness.
Yet ofttimes we are unaware of the message that Nature sends our way; to many, mid-September may as well be mid-May. We’ve grown distant from our primitive ancestors who were quite in touch with the rhythms of the natural world. The change in season was a change in lifestyle. Not so today in our highly sophisticated culture. We have invented systems that maintain the optimal ‘season’ for us throughout the year so that we hardly feel the natural air on our skin any longer. Does this contribute to our careless shepherding of Mother Earth and the denial that we may have greatly impacted the natural rhythms of our planet?
In one particular spot in our nation the heated babble, the rancor, the narcissistic rhetoric continues 24/7 as if there were no change of scene, no early morning frost, no falling leaves. Our insular national Capitol seems to be in an alternate universe, disconnected with this world in which we live. One wonders whether a mandatory daily walk in the park would be beneficial to the legislators’ work of the day. Would a scarlet and orange leaf lying upon the pathway mollify a hardened heart? Or the smell of woodsy air, the sound of the crows echoing through the preserve?
It must be an awful life to live so disconnected with the natural world and its circular rhythms. How can we insulate ourselves from our environment so thoroughly that we have, in fact, become unmindful of the lessons taught in the natural world? Finally, we might be wise to ask: what becomes of a people who disregard these natural cycles so purposefully?