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Friday, September 26, 2008

Equal Days and Knights

In the language of science, an equinox is either of two points on the celestial sphere where the ecliptic and the celestial equator intersect. Basically, day and night are of approximate equal length.

Avebury Seasons (A collection of eight paintings) by Ric Kemp

Autumn Equinox shows Silbury Hill from neighbouring Waden Hill [’pagan hill’] with Wiltshire corn figurines indicating the end of harvest; a spectral megalithic avenue is suggested in the middle distance. At a megalithic cairn on a hill at Loughcrew in Ireland, the rising sun at the equinoxes illuminate the passage and chamber.

With all the political and economic news happening this week, I failed to notice that the earth and Universe continues to march on as it has done for billions of years. Monday was the autumnal equinox (Sept 22, 2008; 11:44:18 A.M. EDT), the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator, from north to south; this marks the beginning of autumn in the Northern Hemisphere.

Autumn is here. How could I have missed the grand opening of my favorite season?

As busy as my father always was, he never missed an opportunity to load my mom, two brothers, sister, and me in the car and head to some State or National park and just let us romp. I can hear him say, "Don't run too far ahead; stay close."

A lot of times he'd pack a picnic or even be brave enough to load a grill and some hamburgers to grill out under a canopy quilt of reds and yellows . Those autumn days will always be some of my favorite recollections of being with my family (below: twin brother Jeff, Mom, Sir John of Rosedale, Sir Bowie, Karen).

When I became a father, I tried very hard to continue the autumn tradition with Lady Suzanne and my two girls. I hope they enjoyed those days and will never forget them. Now that Lucy is away at college and Amy is working full time, I've come to the realization that I'll not have too many more opportunities to share these special days with the loves of my life. Something else to miss.

When my father was diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago, I knew that those autumn romps in the woods with him were gone. He passed away a year ago this autumn.

Autumnal equinox has come and gone. Today I'm reminded that I not only missed that special day, but I also sorely miss my special friend – my father.

As I write this, I look out the window and see that the huge maple tree behind us is really starting to put on its autumn cloak – it's not listening to the trials and tribulations of human beings. It's listening to, and still knows that it's one with, the Universe.

I smile through my tears of pain for I know that my father is one with the Universe as well. Yes, I did miss the autumnal equinox, but I will not miss the season and the opportunity to romp in the woods. I also, will never stop missing my father -- his memory will be there, too, saying "Have fun, but stay close!"

Dad, my twin brother Jeff, and me - a LONG time ago.

I'll always stay close. I love you, Chico (our nickname for him).

Good Knights, to paraphrase Sir Hook, 'Endeavor to Engage Autumn – and all those in our hearts.”

Sir Bowie of Greenbriar


  1. Beautifully put B.

    Spring was alway the season in our household... not least that May is my birthday..but it is the month that England never fails to look its best.

    Autumn here means "Conkers" which are Horse Chestnuts.. and i'll have to maybe write a blog about the perculiar game of Conkers which like shin a rite of passage for any real Brit Kid.

    Sir Dayvd

  2. Beautifully written and expressed. A good lesson in how life will go on after every crisis and what is truly important. I never knew your father, only saw what was left of him at his funeral; however, I know you and your brothers and I can see him through the men you are today. I love that picture of you and Jeff with him in the woods. He was a very strapping lad in that picture. The strength and love of a father are one of the greatest gifts a man child can receive. May he continued to be blessed, as well as you.

    Yes, Autumn is my favorite time of the year. There is a certain power of nature that I feel during this time. It also marks some important milestones in my life. May father's birthday, now gone, is October 18 and my open heart surgery anniversary on Halloween, the scariest Halloween I ever experienced.

    There's something to be said about sitting alone in the rainbow colors of the woods on a crisp fall morning listening to the beating of your heart, the cry of the migrating birds and gentle wind making the leaves dance around you. It's my time to commune with the powers that motivate me, empower me and enlighten me. I'm in Columbus, OH getting ready to drive home this morning and the leaves are already turning here. Here's to life and special times! Cheers!

    Sir Hook the Druid Christian of Warrick