What’s your favorite season? Whatever it is, there’s a song or two or ten about it. Billie Holiday famously celebrated “April in Paris” and Nat King Cole extolled the virtues of “Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer” while winter offerings are limitless, even aside from holiday tunes. Think “Winter Wonderland” and “Frosty the Snowman” and “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” for example.
Fall has always been my favorite time of year. When we lived in New Hampshire, we were surrounded by colors like those in this photo, taken in Estonia a few years ago. (Note: This featured image only originally appeared on my website, so I include it here, which is the reason for a duplicate post.)
No song of the season is lovelier than “Autumn in New York” made famous by Mel Tormé and rendered beautifully here by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.
Why is autumn so special to me? With two working parents and no summertime family vacations, three months of hot and humid New York weather came to a merciful end after Labor Day in September. I developed a serious love of Back to School prep. At the risk of dating myself, this included the purchase of new plaid “shirtwaist” dresses, spiral and Composition notebooks, and an item that resulted in a lifelong olfactory addition, ArtGum erasers. I wondered if they were still in existence and was thrilled to find them–naturally–on Amazon. Some things just don’t change, I think. I hope.
October first brought my birthday, and later the chance to put on a costume, bob for apples, and accumulate insane amounts of candy on Halloween. In my teens the start of football season for all-boys Brooklyn Technical High School had some of us at all-girls Bay Ridge High School putting on a costume of a different sort, as we cheered our brother school on to victory.
November meant feasting on roast turkey with all the trimmings and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Then came Christmas and New Year’s. All in all, a four-month-long steamroller of fun. Hopefully there were a few “snow days” thrown in, when the New York City Public School System broke down and cancelled classes. We delighted in snowball fights with the other kids on the block, and chugged mugs of afternoon hot chocolate spoiling our supper appetites.
Things have changed over the years. I focus on different calendar mile markers these days like, for example, Judaism’s Fall Feasts. But before I continue…
…this is a good time to make the disclaimer that none of what follows should be regarded as professional, legal, or financial advice. After all, I am the person who, when I opened my first bank account, could never balance my checkbook. Who knew about all those extra fees throwing everything into chaos? I would just close out my account and open another one at another bank. Obviously this is nothing I am proud of, but it should serve to assure you that I’m not offering official counsel.
The following post is from almost a year ago, October 2020. I include it here not to promote the blog or blogger(s) or the financial program they offer, but because I found it interesting that a seemingly secular source is referencing The Shemitah Cycle.
Next Monday, September 6, is 29 Elul on the Jewish calendar, and is known as The Day of Nullification. More than once it’s been a date of major significance, one example being the events of September 11, 2001. Seven years later, on September 29, 2008, we experienced the largest ever single-day stock market crash. Beginning at sundown on Monday and ending at sundown on Wednesday the 8th, Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year (Tishrei 1 and 2), will be celebrated. Also called Yom Teruah, or the Feast of Trumpets, it will be the start of the next Shemitah year, 2021-2022 on the Gregorian calendar.
We can’t know in advance precisely the timing of events in store for us, but we can become more informed about the possibilities. If I’ve piqued your curiosity, check out the New York Times bestseller The Mystery of the Shemitah by Messianic Jewish minister and author Jonathan Cahn. Phil Richardson’s YouTube video Messiah’s Jubilee Connection to 2021 & 2029 is one of the most comprehensive yet clearest expositions about the meaning of the Feasts and how they figure in our future. Find out more on his website.
Coming full circle to seasons, here’s a poem I wrote which was published in an anthology years ago. In it you find not only my love of autumn but the cycle of life, the trip that we all take. Thanks for sharing part of yours with me.
Each russet anniversary, plaid skirts and
pencil boxes, the fragrance of a fire.
Time slips—no longer seek a grade but a
career, and find that in the work world is
And then sweet silent mystery: a crib and
tiny toe prints, life’s capsule of desire.
Time stays—and that these precious days will end
I fear. Exquisite pain of change imbued
Now this autumnal reverie shows the seed
ripened and full, its own goals to acquire.
Time stops—as dawns the understanding of
this year. Yet so much more awaits before
Relevant Bible verses:
The Lord spoke to Moses saying, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, ‘In the seventh month on the first day of the month, you shall observe a day of solemn rest, a memorial proclaimed with blast of trumpets, a holy convocation.'” (Leviticus 23:23-25 English Standard Version)
You shall count seven weeks of years, seven times seven years, so that the time of the seven weeks of years give you forty-nine years. Then you shall sound the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month. On the Day of Atonement you shall sound the trumpet throughout all your land.” (Leviticus 25:8-9 ESV)
At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release what he has lent to his neighbor, his brother, because the LORD’s release has been proclaimed. (Deuteronomy 15:1-2 ESV)