Fall: America’s Season
Football—Though I am not a pigskin fanatic, many are. A huge chunk of Americans love college and pro football, each of which run from August to January. There is great psychic satisfaction in football. One roots for a team and becomes part of something larger, a natural inclination of the soul. We want to be part of something larger. And so you have fifty year-old men who haven’t seen a pair of tennis shoes in weeks talking with one another about their team as if they’re headed to the practice field or, more likely, the coaches’ box. I must say that I enjoy this aspect of football fandom, because there is something, within limits, that is nice to see about participation in something larger than oneself. In place of isolation, we seek community, responding to a natural and good instinct toward fellowship.
Thanksgiving—This is bound up with the above, but there are other reasons why Thanksgiving makes fall the nation’s season. Interestingly, it also involves community, though this time within the context of family. With Christmas and its satisfied happiness approaching, the promise of good food, and the company of loved ones, we flock to Thanksgiving, crowding airports and highways in the process. Thanksgiving is first and foremost about family, and a primacy on family is a very American thing, and that helps make Thanksgiving a key part of fall and a major reason why we love fall so much. What in spring is about family, for example?
There are other things I could list, but I think I’ll stop here, and post tomorrow some general personal reflections on fall.