Fall is Like a Song


In my part of the world, fall is starting to arrive. Although not according to the calendar quite yet. Yesterday, I spent some time relaxing outside on my front porch. My porch looks out into the forest and onto the lightly traveled county road in front of my house. More often than not, there are more deer than cars trooping along that road, and in my front yard, making their way to the feeding troughs we keep full for them. As I sat on the porch, I was musing about how the woods look like fall and I fell into a reverie thinking of the melody, harmony, and beat of life, particularly in the fall.

Sometimes I think fall is my favorite time of year. Then I wonder why. Fall, in so many ways, is the end. The end of the summer, of good weather, of good times with our friends outdoors, of easy travel and easier living. I look around me as I sit on my porch and i see the beginnings of fall. My clematis are trying to produce a few of their fall blooms. The black-eyed susans and purple coneflowers are frantically blooming the last of their flowers. The oak, maple, and poplar trees are turning a dingy green with some yellowing of leaves. The sycamore maples will be the first to go. The underbrush is starting to die off.

The wildlife are particularly affected by the changing of the seasons. I hear the Canadian geese as they fly overhead. Heading south, honking as they go. Chipmunks are everywhere with their cheeks full of any nuts they can find, storing food for winter. The deer even look like fall. In the summer, their coats are a chestnut red. Now they are turning gray in order to blend in with the winter forest. I have seen the antlers of the two large bucks who come to the feeding troughs and they have gotten huge. At least eight points each. The fawns the does started to bring to feed early in the summer have grown up, except for a few, and are losing their spots and becoming less dependent on their mothers. We still have a few very small fawns and i am rooting for them to grow and grow fast so they will survive the winter.

The butterflies and hummingbirds are mostly gone now. Headed south on their long journey. Some of the birds are gone but many of the species indigenous to this area stay, foraging for food.

Where I live in the U.S., we have four distinct seasons, though not as distinct as they once were. Summer has been hot and humid this year. We have reached 90 degrees many days which is odd for this corner of the world. Of course, the world is heating up. The humidity has been higher than usual, more like the Gulf Coast than the Ohio Valley. Winters used to be hard with a lot of snow and ice. Not so much now with the heating of the earth. We once had big snows and we still sometimes do. But, they are an anomaly rather than a normal occurrence. It is still cold here in the winter but usually not the brutal cold of days gone by.

Still, there is fall, that in-between time. The time between hot and cold, between summer and winter, between the lush greenery that surrounds me and the stark hardness of a deciduous forest in winter. Fall is sometimes warm, sometimes cool. Preparing us for the cold of winter, for the hardships of winter. Making us forget the uncomfortable heat and humidity of a summer that has grown too hot for the place we call home. In the fall, we try to hang on to the rituals of summer as long as possible.

It occurred to me that the changing of the seasons is like a song. There is a melody and a harmony. Music has a melody and a harmony and so does seasonal change. Melody is usually defined as the main series of notes of a song that stand out and enable us to remember a song. I think of summer as the melody of the year. It is the main event. The series of notes that stand out to us, when the world is fresh, green, alive, singing. The transition to fall is the harmony. Harmony is the series of notes that are counter-melody. It is chords that are pleasing to the ear that complement melody much like  fall complements summer and eases our transition into winter.

The change of the seasons corresponds to the concept of beat in music. A constant rhythmic pulse that is never-ending. The beat is the skeleton of the seasonal change while the melody is summer and harmony is the seasonal transition. Beat, in music, in life, in the change of the seasons, is what you feel in your heart. Fall is like a song. #amwriting #writing #blogging #fall #music


  1. Hello Dr. Peavler, I’m not much of a twitterer, but somehow I found you, and your writings. Enjoying! Especially the eastern KY theme. Keep ’em coming!!

    Liked by 1 person

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