CORNER WINDOW by Jeff Hartzer
#010: October, 2007
Going Up; Coming Down
From our Corner Window this month we can see hot air balloons going up and autumn leaves coming down. Winning football teams going up, losers going down. Daily expenses going up paychecks coming down. Heater pilot lights going up, swamp cooler covers going down. We are on a seesaw ride toward the end of this Year of the Pig. And as The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart is known to tell his audiences, it’s time to “Settle, people.”
October is a Mr. Toad’s wild ride of change. There is nothing constant in life but change and as Garth said in the movie Wayne’s World, “We fear change.” It is time to hold on to your hats as the winds of change blow out lawns and leaf piles rise skyward. Time for chimney smoke to replace the squeaky swamp cooling sounds of summer. Kids and teachers are settled into their classroom routines and we’ve settled into the silly ways of the newest TV shows, the rhythms of the weekend football odyssey.
Tumbleweeds are piling up in cornered back acres; soon bare trees will again face their winters and final harvests will bring feasts to tables. Now, though, there are moments to savor in the hurricane’s eye of change. Enjoy the colors of nature as all the growth of summer dies out in a bright blaze of color. Audubon’s creatures begin to wing southward and migratory fowl and predacious birds of prey pass through our New Mexican migratory lanes of flight. Find a moment to look for those red-tailed hawks, harriers, and kestrals swooping in over roadside fields. Even from our corner window couch potato chairs and sofas we can sense that, indeed, change is afoot as the days shorten and nights offer longer glimpses at Orion and the Pleaides.
Another man’s throw-aways become your Secret Santa finds at yard sales. It is a fine time to let go of things grown old and let them flutter away like fallen leaves to other homes where the old things become newly found treasures. It is a time to look back and perhaps let go old friends and lost relatives who have passed away or simply moved on. It is a time to clear the heart and soul of ancient cobwebs and of no longer useful ways of life. Time to lose our heavy “thought burdens” and past resentments, making room to bulk up for winter in new, fresher ways that will be sustaining for the months ahead.
For some the swing directly to winter is a shock. To one day use your air conditioner and the next day fire up the heater is a quick transition to wrap your head and body around. From shorts and sandals to long underwear and warm jackets is often an overnight move here in the High Desert. Take some time from those outerwear adjustments to aclimate interiorly as well. Take a brisk walk, listening to the last rain songs of the cottonwoods before their leaves are completely gone. Catch a final Major League Baseball game to celebrate the last glimpses of your past summer.
All too soon KooKooEee burns (October 28th) and we celebrate the Day of the Dead and the passing of this transitional twilight time before accepting the inevitabilities of winter. Too soon it will be the “goes within time” of long, dark nights and cold chills of snow and ice. For now enjoy the wild ride of change. Embrace the colors of dying leaves. Watch the smoke begin to rise and the calming shrouds of winter come down over us like the billowy, warm comforters at our grandparents’ house. Take time to notice the going up as well as the coming down. Change is the only thing we can really count on, even if we fear it.
Jeff Hartzer © 2007