Thursday, August 25, 2011


Our lives are driven by schedules, deadlines, calendars, clocks, bells, alarms . . .  These are all contrivances designed to organize and control our time/lives.

This year on September 23 at 9:04 am it will be officially fall. According to Wikipedia, "An equinox occurs twice a year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is inclined neither away from nor towards the Sun, the center of the Sun being in the same plane as the Earth's equator." It continues, "An equinox happens each year at two specific moments in time (rather than two whole days), when there is a location (the subsolar point) on the Earth's equator, where the center of the Sun can be observed to be vertically overhead, occurring around March 20/21 and September 22/23 each year." Wikipedia also makes a distinction between an equinox and an equiluxe. An equiluxe is the term used to denote those days when sunrise and sunset are the closest to being 12 hours apart.

Growing up in Pittsburgh it was easy to tell when it was fall.  We have long hot, humid summers.  Often times in the summer there's not a big difference between the high and low temperatures.  Sometimes it just too damn hot to sleep.  When I was growing up, on nights like this the houses were dark and parents would be sitting on porch swings and gliders speaking in hushed tones, if at all, and all you would see would be the red light from the tip of their cigarettes.  The kids would be sleeping in tents and sleeping bags in the back yards.  The doors were open all night long and no one was afraid that their kids would be abducted nor were they afraid that anyone would enter their homes.  That was out of the question. It just wouldn't happen. You knew it was autumn when the humidity dropped.  That was it.  That was the sign.  And it didn't happen according to a date on a calendar.  It was fall when it was fall.  The humidity drops and there's a certain chill in the air. . .  The light changes too. . .  The color of the sky is a bit different . . .

Some things are beyond our control.  My calendar says it's still summer, but it's not.  It's really fall. All the signs are here . . .

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