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Richard Crowson Commentary

Richard Crowson: The Punctuation Of Autumn


We’ve been inundated for so many months with political exclamation points. How great is it now to be able to relax a bit and let nature remind us that there is more to life than Republican red and Democratic blue.

Autumn is usually the most fleeting of our seasons here in Kansas. In terms of punctuation marks, winter is a cold, emphatic period. Spring is a colon: it simply says to us, “pay attention to what is about to happen.” What is about to happen is, of course, summer. Summer as a punctuation mark, here in Kansas, would probably be an ellipsis... just a long series of dot, after dot, after dot.

But fall can be quick and easily overlooked. Fall is a comma. The meek season that is just barely there, a few mild days that come between our bruising icy winters and our overbearing, sluggish, sweaty summers.

Usually. But not this year. This autumn season has taken its own sweet time. Beneath Kansas skies that have canopied us in shades ranging from baby blue to turquoise to indigo, I’ve watched the cascade of tiny golden locust tree leaves, followed by the rusty brown leaves of my neighbor’s maple tree. Now, the pin oaks are ripening to pumpkin orange and apple red.

This year’s autumn is a delicious multi-coursed meal that we can savor by the forkful, or maybe I should say by the rake-full.

I hope you can have a moment or two of slowed down sumptuousness in appreciation of Mother Nature’s gift to us Kansans. She’s not running for any political office. She’s just walking slowly down our streets, reminding us to relax a bit and put the partisan, bickering season behind us. In all her apolitical, autumn glory.