Autumn is one of those words that conjure vivid mental images. Yellow, orange, and red trees with green struggling to linger yet a little longer. Leaves covering lawns and trails.
The etymology of Autumn begins with the Latin Autumnus and goes through the Old French Autompne and the Old English Autumpne [American Heritage Dictionary]. While the primary meaning is the season after Summer, the secondary meaning is A period of maturity verging on decline... such as the "Autumn of our lives".
In the U.S., we commonly refer to Autumn as Fall... short for "fall of the leaf" or leaves... Robert Burns wrote a poem of that title. Most other nations still use Autumn as the word for this season.
Autumn is a bittersweet time. It is a time of great activity and preparation; the last glorious, robust days of the year before winter.
The seasons have always been a metaphor for a person's life. But I think that, too often, we may look at the negative aspects of Autumn and Winter.
- Autumn is the end of summer
- After Autumn comes the cold and death of winter
The lesson: there is hope despite the season of life. Don't give up. And even when the end comes and we must concede loss or claim victory... it only matters that we didn't give up... that even the forces against us respect us. Life is more than simply living and then dying. It is the manner in which we do both.
As some UM fans left the game when State went ahead 27-10, I remarked to those behind me that the fans who left were going to feel very silly and disappointed if UM should rally and win... something that seemed unlikely. Now, in retrospect, I'm sure they did.
Never give up on life.