Monday, September 26, 2016

On Autumn and Fall, Life's Last Smile

Kimberly Vardeman, CC 2.0
A few days ago, we entered autumn or fall. The word, "autumn" implies hope, the endless cycle of renewal in which autumn is a necessary prerequisite to spring. In contrast,  the word "fall" implies unidirectionality...downward.

"Fall," alas, more accurately describes the final quarter of our life, the metaphor often invoked for our descent into decrepitude and extinction. William Cullen Bryant called fall, "the year's last, loveliest smile." Is it not life's last smile?

How can we cope with thoughts of death and, worse, with the dying process, which lyricist Johnny Mercer, in the song, Autumn Leaves, called, "hearing winter's song?"

I address that in my article today.

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