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Today is September 24, 2020

Outdoors

Intracacy and intrigue of September

By Tony Kinton

Intracacy and intrigue of September

Though not a loud proclamation of autumn, black gum leaves in September whisper a hint that fall is on the way.

Genesis begins with a bold statement: “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.” And what an amazing creation it is. This creation has been discussed and studied and theorized about since creation was created. As well, a great deal of philosophy has been generated surrounding this topic. Let us, for a moment, set that all aside and move to a specific matter relating to creation — the changing of seasons.

These changes result from the Earth’s tilt — 23.5-degrees on Earth’s vertical axis. An intricate business, this tilting. And that tilt allows the northern and southern hemispheres to have summer and winter — only at opposing times.

I have visited South Africa many times in July. Board a plane in Mississippi with a temperature of 96 and step off a plane in Johannesburg with a temperature of 56. But none of that is particularly relevant to the topic at hand. That topic is September, month of the autumnal equinox.

September’s intrigue presents in various forms. Visual is likely the most recognized, for it, in a way, speaks softly of autumn. No, that season has not fully arrived, this verified by persistently disagreeable temperatures. But there is a whisper of fall in the air. The sight of changing shadows is a paramount indicator.

This sight, caused by that tilting mentioned above and set in place by the Creator acknowledged in that passage from Genesis, is an odd and haunting thing to see. It comes on gently but is probably noticed suddenly as an observer steps outside one day and recognizes that the surroundings simply don’t look the way they did a week earlier. Shadow angles are….well, different. A peculiar slant; a curious leaning.

And above it all, at least on a clear day, is the most brilliant and encouraging of all skies. The blue is bluer and the sunrise is soft and welcoming. There are leafy trees contemplating a color change, perhaps faint but inarguable. On a September morning.

Then there are the aural suggestions. The rustling of aging cornstalks or summer gardens, nearing rest from their chores of production. The call of crickets and katydids, a near-constant whine that soothes and smooths the wrinkles of a long summer.

Perhaps my favorite piece of music is Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 in E Minor, popularly known as the “New World Symphony.” Generally built around American music melodies, it is a European composer’s rendition of what he heard and/or perceived from his time in the United States. One theme that permeates the symphony is a tune called “Goin’ Home.” I hear those crickets and see those withering corn stalks and want nothing more than to go home.

The autumnal equinox will be here soon — in September. Don’t miss the intricacies and intrigue.

 

Tony Kinton has been an active outdoors writer for 30 years. He lives in Carthage and is a Central Electric member. Visit www.tonykinton.com for more information.

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