Winds of change

T’is the season!  The wicked witch of South Texas finally broke her summer fever (the oppressive stage of which really only lasts the month of August).  Now, we can give the A/C a break and open the windows, at least until the groundskeeper with the incessant, annoying leafblower comes through.

I didn’t always like fall.  While fall itself was neat, I wasn’t too fond of what it signaled.  I knew that when the gray clouds rolled in and the leaves turned to yellow and red, that ice, snow, salt, grit, short days, no sun, wind chills, and cabin fever were close at hand.

And I am not a fan of ice, snow, salt, grit, short days, no sun, wind chill, or cabin fever.  I will not put up with them, Sam-I-Am.  Life’s too short to track in ice, salt, and dirt 30 feet into every building for 4 months out of the year.

Ten years and a thousand miles later, I like fall.  Some of the leaves change, some don’t.  Some take on vibrant colors, some do not pass go and turn straight to brown, while others just fall off the tree without warning.  The air cools off and a slight chill returns, if you’re paying attention.  The sun isn’t as intense, but is still plenty warm enough to dish out a generous helping of Vitamin D.

Fall is bittersweet, in that there have been both joys and sorrows.  Half my friends and family were born in the fall, so there’s the usual flurry of “Birthday Season” that lasts from, oh, August until December.  My partner and I were married on Halloween, which is about the zenith of the fall and its vibrations, and about the zenith of our happiness to match.

On the flip side, several loved ones died in the fall, and we come to miss them as the murmurings of the approaching holidays draw closer.

The post-surgical metamorphosis that is slowly becoming apparent to me adds a little intensity to this particular change of seasons, as part of me is crossing over into another realm just like the spirits on Samhain Eve.  I haven’t yet figured out the extent of its significance or its ramifications, but as with all else, I’m sure time will tell.

Halloween itself has always been my favorite holiday, even outranking Christmas.  Sure, Christmas is great for family get-togethers, great food, and displays of generosity, but Halloween has a guttural, instinctual quality to it that awakens something Scorpionic from deep within.  There is an energy, a pulse, and it is tantalizing, inviting you to plunge into the rabbit hole to see just how deep that underworld goes.  Yummy!  They say there’s a transformational quality to it, too, but right now I’m having too much fun with the underworld down the rabbit hole.

True to form, I tend to anchor points of my life with music and various messages it carries and atmospheres that it creates.

Now is no different.  Over the years (about 23) I’ve come up with a list of favorite autumn songs that just sorta get me in that fall mood.  Maybe others can relate.  As usual, there is no particular order…

1. “Flycatcher Jack & Whippoorwill’s Song” –Kieran Kane & Kevin Welch (Americana country/folk)

2. “Mummer’s Dance” –Loreena McKennitt (Celtic pop/soft rock)

3. “Sing” –Blur (Brit-pop from the movie “Trainspotting”)

4. “Into Dust” –Mazzy Star (alternative rock, but quite slow and acoustic)

5. “Saltarello” –Dead Can Dance (multi-cultural alternative)

6. “Teardrop” –Massive Attack (independent, trip-hop, used as House MD theme song)

7. “Widow’s Walk” –Susanne Vega (alternative soft rock, singer/songwriter)

8. “Love Will Tear Us Apart” –Nouvelle Vague (contemporary lounge, but a cover of a classic alternative rock song from 1980…mmmm….)

9. “Last Song of Summer” –Lucy Show (shoegaze, one of the yummiest subgenres out there)

10. “Stumble” –REM (alternative rock/jangle pop)

11. “Silent Lucidity” –Queensryche (no idea how to classify them)

12. “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” –Gordon Lightfoot (original) or Brian Burns (excellent cover by a Texan artist!)

13. “Fly” –Moxy Fruvous (Canadian folk rock – yeah!)

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