September 29, 2005
“There’s gonna be a change of season. Indian summer, look around and it’s gone.”That’s the opening line of Robbie Robertson’s “What About Now?” from his overlooked but epic “Storyville” album. The song has always resonated with me at this time of year for the obvious reference to Indian Summer. Indian Summer sounds like an almost mythical season. One with golden light in the sky, warm winds blowing through yellow trees, orange and auburn burning the undergrowth, and, of course, a dusting on the peaks to let you know that it won’t last long, and winter will be here soon.But look around. As we sit here on the last day of September, that mythical season is upon us. On the cusp of October the trees are in full fall mode, the Bells are showing slightly white, and the leaves blowing around your feet are a kaleidoscope of the earthy tones that can be only be found in nature at this time of year, at this altitude and at this latitude. It is a special time in a special place.October, for many, this scribe included, is the best month. It is the fulcrum for the seesaw of the seasons, tilting us from summer sun to winter snows. It is the heart of football season and brings us baseball’s ultimate seven games. It closes with Halloween, which though today is nothing more than a day to dress in costume, has it’s genesis in the celebration of man’s close ties to the land and the bounties bestowed each growing season by her soils.And yet, October has a melancholy side to it as well. It may have something to do with the sunlight diminishing each day as we race towards the winter solstice. You find yourself feeling the days slip away before you know it, as night comes a little earlier, a little faster each day. It may also result from the uneasiness of change, the unsettled feeling that is attendant whenever we enter a different place, a different time, a different season of our lives.But Robertson’s tune is not about Indian Summer at all. Rather, as the name “What About Now?” implies, it is about it is about seizing a moment. About living in the here in and now. “What about Now? Let’s forget about tomorrow, it’s too far away. Close your eyes, don’t talk of yesterday, it’s too far away, too far away.”Good advice for a great time of year. Enjoy your October days, for you know they will not last long.
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