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Richard Crowson: The Stillness of Autumn

Fall is a time that always reminds me of when I was a kid growing up in the developing suburbs of Memphis. I had lots of opportunities then, to roam around the fields and woods, going no place in particular through nature’s leafy abundance.

Sometimes I was Robin Hood, sometimes a yodeling Tarzan, and sometimes I was just a leaf-kicking explorer feeling the breezes that whispered of a weather change just around the next weekend.

I didn’t know it exactly at the time, but what I was doing out there was recharging my spiritual batteries. Letting the peace and the stillness of those woodsy Autumn afternoons connect with an inner part of myself.

I still have that need but it’s awfully hard to get that same experience here in Wichita. We’re not exactly overrun with parks and wilderness areas in this town. The closest I can get to walking amidst nature’s untamed beauty is, pathetically, the grassy banks of a drainage ditch between my neighborhood and a big ole Dillon’s Marketplace grocery store. I can’t even let loose a good Tarzan yodel without disturbing the residents a few yards up from the ditch.

But I sometimes walk the prairie trails of the Great Plains Nature Center, a wonderful resource in Northeast Wichita.

As we saunter into another beautiful Kansas Autumn, I urge you to get out into the quietness there, reminding you of your own inner stillness where your true self is still dwelling. Still listening to the season’s simple cricket songs. Still watching the early fall breeze bow the heads of the waving tallgrass. Still feeling the slight hint of a cooler season that whispers in that breeze.

Still. Just being still.

Richard Crowson is not only a editorial commentator for KMUW. He's also a cartoonist, an artist and a banjo player.