I’m afraid I’ve gotten very lax about my writing. I could blame it on the new school year and the fact that I’m teaching a new class, or I could explain that I am really trying to get in shape which takes time, leaving little to no room in the schedule for the blog. I could also complain of writer’s block and general discouragement/lack of motivation and inspiration. All of these things are a part of why my writing has slowed, but none of these is the entire reason. I think it’s all just part of the season in which I find myself–and since SEASONS are exactly what I wanted to write about everything works out very conveniently!
Today is the first day of fall. I’ve been noticing the difference in the mornings lately–the shadows are darker; the air is drier; the dew is thicker. I was in Gettysburg and Philadelphia with the juniors this week and found the morning air especially crisp north of the Mason-Dixon line. We went to a Phillies game and practically froze in the upper deck as wind picked up and the game went into extra innings. Being raised in the area, and being a veteran of many late season baseball games, I had a pair of gloves with me. Snuggled inside my Gettysburg 150th Anniversary sweat shirt, I was really quite cozy.
Today the sun is still warm, but the shade is cool. We had dinner on the patio of our favorite Italian restaurant and I needed an after dinner cappuccino to warm me up. When I took Margie for a walk after we got home, however, I wanted to take off my cardigan as she dawdled in the sunshine. As I followed her slow progress through the neighborhood, I thought about how quickly the seasons pass these days. It seems like I was just welcoming summer and now I’m saying good-bye, but it’s good. My soul stirs with the season change; my heart rejoices at what is coming. Life is good.
I’m currently overdosing on C.S. Lewis. My freshmen are reading Mere Christianity, my seniors are working their way through The Screwtape Letters, and I’m reading That Hideous Strength on my own. I love reading many works by a single author at the same time because it gives me a panoramic view of the writer’s ideas. It’s kind of like standing on Little Round Top and viewing all of the Gettysburg Battlefield. It gives me chills.
I was thinking about all of this as Margie and I inched our way around the round-about and I remembered a passage in Screwtape that we will discuss in class tomorrow that kind of brings it all together. My love of Lewis became mixed with my love of seasonal change. It’s just too good not to share: (Remember, this is a demon talking.)
“The horror of the Same Old Thing is one of the most valuable passions we have produced in the human heart–an endless source of heresies in religion, folly in counsel, infidelity in marriage, and inconstancy in friendship. The humans live in time, and experience reality successively. To experience much of it, therefore, they must experience many different things; in other words, they must experience change. And since they need change, the Enemy (being a hedonist at heart) has made change pleasurable, just as He has made eating pleasurable. But since He does not wish them to make change, any more than eating, an end in itself, He has balanced the love of change in them by a love of permanence which we call Rhythm. He gives them the seasons, each season different yet every year the same, so that spring is always felt as a novelty yet always as the recurrence of an immemorial theme.”
Reading Lewis is always like coming home. His writing reminds me of what is important. It calms me; it teaches me; it comforts me; it inspires me. I welcome the fall as an old friend and look forward to the new things this one will bring–new things to learn, new friends to make, new things to see. I am content.