Sometimes it’s terrifying to think about your own mortality. Sometimes it’s really soothing and motivating to know that one day everything that torments you will be gone. “Coming to terms” with your mortality, as they say, is a complex process and most of the time we don’t like to think about it. But death is connected with us on so many levels. We can feel death, we can see death, we incite it and participate in death everyday. We can think about death rationally or spiritually, or both. We can be employed in the business of death or be passionate in the venture of circumventing it. Death is all around us. Death knows us intimately. Our most loyal companion.
Keats writes about the vision of Autumn below, but he could as easily be speaking of death:
“Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.”
– Keats, “To Autumn”
The death of Summer, if experienced like all other deaths, should be woeful and somber, don’t you think? A time to reflect on the joys Summer has brought us. A time to grit our teeth in the face of the harsh conditions to come. Like all deaths, we should endevour to wait for an escape that only time can provide…
…instead, we gleefully join hands and celebrate Autumn. Stand in awe of the beauty and take refuge in the peace we feel while outside. Drink warm teas and gimmicky coffees. Pick bright red apples and bright orange pumpkins. Adorn death with color and greet it with sweets. Find joy in the death of summer. We celebrate a death so giving.
So cheers to Autumn, “close bosom- friend of the maturing sun,” for reminding us of our mortality in such a glorious way.