Fall in Kansas; an unfailing paradise

Keats wanted to be in England when April came; what a pity he never relished Kansas in the golden days of fall.
A caressing sun, and the soft, luminescent skies of October. Morning frosts turn the grass silver for an hour or two, then let go. Leaves fall and gather into wind-rows against any handy wall, rustling in a crisp monotone that invites a stroll.
October days allow a wool plaid shirt and flannel pants, but only to walkers. Those who jog or run, if younger, must dress for the end of summer, instead. Our fall is a catholic season: something for everyone.
Look up on your walk and put the trees in categories: the buckeye and crab apple shed their leaves weeks ago, in a rush to get to winter. Now the soft maples disrobe, planning already to trash the yard again with airplane seeds as soon as spring awakes them. Pin oak leaves turn red, then brown clinging all the while to their branches like shipwreck survivors wrap themselves around a floating plank. Their fierce grasp will hold them fast till spring’s new generation demands its turn and shoves them away.
Closer to the holidays, after killing frosts, Indian summer will bring back a few shirt-sleeve days. (I can remember tennis games in Christmas week just a few days after a beautiful wet snow blanketed the court in dazzling white.) Yes, tennis in December some years, but the season comes with a guarantee of nights cool enough for a blanket and a fond companion. Depend on it.
Calendar-makers in Kansas should print all of October’s days in red. Sure, and November’s, too. What a blessing it is to be in this wonderful part of the world now that autumn’s here.

— Emerson Lynn, jr.