Put away the white shoes, jeans, purses -- it's after Labor Day. At least that was the tradition in the Deep South regardless of the temperature on the thermometer. The calendar, not the thermometer, defined the season.
The autumnal equinox is still three weeks away but school began three weeks ago and the calendar is turned to September so our minds contemplate fall -- autumn with colored leaves, mums, pumpkins, Friday night football, bonfires and sweaters. And, in Pea Ridge, to the annual Mule Jump which is held on the second Saturday in October.
While we may not be raking leaves just yet, autumn invariably follows summer and those lush oak, walnut, hickory and maple leaves that have provided shade from the hot summer sun will soon carpet the lush green lawns watered by the abundant summer rains this year. Acorns, hickory nuts, black walnuts also litter the ground wreaking havoc with lawn mower blades but providing a wealth of food for squirrels this winter.
In one of 10 Resolutions for Mental Health, Dr. John Piper, referring to a list provided to him by his college professor Dr. Clyde Kilby, wrote: "I shall open my eyes and ears. Once every day I shall simply stare at a tree, a flower, a cloud, or a person. I shall not then be concerned at all to ask what they are but simply be glad that they are. I shall joyfully allow them the mystery of what Lewis calls their 'divine, magical, terrifying and ecstatic' existence."
He recalled a time when he was in college and Kilby "spoke of a tree he saw on the way to class... and you wondered why you had been so blind all your life."
This autumn, don't just look. See!
See the myriad differences in size, shape, texture of the colorful canopy above you in the woodlands. Take your eyes off yourself and look around and truly see. Notice the uniqueness of each person you encounter and appreciate their differences. Life is full of beautiful experiences if you learn to see the beauty around you.
Editor's note: Annette Beard is the managing editor of The Times of Northeast Benton County, chosen the best small weekly newspaper in Arkansas for five years. The opinions expressed are those of the writer. She can be reached at [email protected]
Editorial on 09/04/2019