On Fall and Time and Letting Go

"Red Sumac" (photo by m.a.h. hinton)

“Red Sumac” (photo by m.a.h. hinton)

From time to time I come across an article about “the writing life.” Occasionally I will even read one, or parts at least. When I do, I seldom recognize much that is familiar from my own writing life. I am hoping that a slight adjustment in my second-job work schedule may help with that.

Writing takes time… as does reading… as does most things in life that matter.

When you are in your 20s, you are by nature impatient yet still able to take time and health and life itself for granted. When you are in your 50s, and have been paying attention to the things you should have been paying attention to, you may have finally learned at least a little patience. Yet, irony of irony, at half a century you now realize that you can no longer take anything for granted.

In the past few months I have been feeling an urgency about many things that I have been putting off for awhile… some for months, some for years, some for decades. Things I have been assuming I would finally get to “later… when I have the time and money.”

Autumn is the perfect time for such thoughts. As trees drop their leaves, we think of the dross and drivel of our own lives… the things that once seemed so important but now can be easily let go.

I find myself making mental lists. One is of all the things I have wanted to do but have not yet done. Some of the things on that list have been there for 40 years, some have been added and altered over time, and many things that would have once been there are long deleted. Time distills dreams.

The other list I make is of things I am ready to let go.

The cottonwood behind my house is mostly bare now. The locust and ash trees are just beginning to show signs of color around their edges. Driving out of my neighborhood, greens and yellows seem to mix equally with the cool blue of the late September sky. It is autumn in the North Country.


AUTUMN, by Amy Lowell

All day I have watched the purple vine leaves
Fall into the water.
And now in the moonlight they still fall,
But each leaf is fringed with silver.



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