Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dear Melancholy

Dear Melancholy,

It's the way you creep up on us as the temperature drops and the chill in the air takes our bare skin by surprise.  It's they way the sunlight shines a little bit differently in the mornings--with more color and saturation--because of the fading moisture that filters the air.  It's the way Mother Nature takes out her earth tone palette and paints the world in colors of red, orange, yellow, and brown.  You linger in the crisp morning air, and that's how we know that fall is here.

We've gone from opening our windows to let in fresh, cool air, to shutting them again and turning on the heater.  We've begun changing our warm weather clothing to the layers needed for this time of year.  We've noticed the earlier arrival of sunset and the later start to sunrise, and we know what's coming in the days ahead.  Many people adore the season of fall, while others brave through unexplained mood changes.  I am very ambivalent about it, and you can call it "seeing the beauty in melancholy."  

While I do love the cooler temps, I don't like what they signal in the months ahead.  While I do love the beautiful scenery of changing colors, I despise the mold spores on all of nature that wreak havoc on my poor nose.  While I do look forward to fall recipes and all-things-pumkins, I also begin to fret about Halloween and kiddos' costumes.  But I do sport my favorite fall pair of shoes with pride.  Close-toed, burnt-orange, sockless Mary-Janes are the way to go.

Fall is also a very busy time of year.  With Back-to-School events, fall picnics, and pumpkin fests, Life is full.  I just barely survived a super busy weekend that made me feel very old.  My body does nott function the way it used to, and somehow I point my finger to that chill in the air.  What a superb day it is to curl up in bed to read a book or take a nap!  Yeah, keep dreaming, cuz that ain't happening.  My sluggishness is actually prompting my body to get movin'.  It's been a while since I've plugged in that elliptical machine, and I actually have an urge to use it.  We shall see...

On a more upbeat note, fall is the time when favorite TV shows return!  Not that I watch TV very much these days, but I cannot wait for the start of The Walking Dead.  I am also excited for Grey's Anatomy, although I still have the entire last season on my DVR to catch up on.  That could certainly be my motivator to get on the elliptical machine...

But my very favorite part of fall is the colorful world that will spice up my tired eyes.  When I spot a burning bush in fiery crimson, I take in a deeper breath.  When I see reds and oranges replacing most of the greens in the great outdoors, I gaze at them a little longer.  I find it ironic that as the air gets cooler, the temperature of colors in nature gets warmer.  I guess that's Mother Nature's way of achieving Balance in the Grand Scheme of Things.

As I trudge on to embrace the many Colors of Fall, I would like to feature a poem written by my Dear Daughter from last month.  For one of her summer writing prompt pieces, DD wrote to the word "melancholy."  Don't we all wonder what goes on in those little noggins of our children?

So, Dear Melancholy, I leave you with her response here:


Melancholy is a wilted flower,
Brown and crumpled.
Melancholy is a tree chopped down, 
Forcing birds to move.
Melancholy is sickness 
That can't be cured.
Melancholy is sadness
Deep in your soul.
Melancholy is a fight 
That doesn't need to be fought.  

(Do you see my ambivalence here, too?  I see the beauty in her melancholy.)

Happy Fall!

Google is deprecating the API of its product, Feedburner, which is what sends you my post feeds and email subscriptions.  I don't know if the service will terminate.  I will keep an eye on my feeds and make changes accordingly if necessary.  I certainly don't want to lose my readers who read via RSS or email.  Please contact me if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
Thank you for reading Letters of Muse.


  1. Sandra, this is wonderful. Fall is my favorite season, and I think melancholy is actually one of my favorite emotions, strange as that may sound. I'm very happy these days, and I find few things better than the bright, crisp, chilly mornings we've been having recently. They're uplifting.

    Reading your post today and the lovely poem your daughter wrote, I somehow only see the "thoughtfulness" melancholy brings, and not the inherent sadness. Somehow "melancholy" is such a beautiful word I can only smile when I hear it. Thank you.

    1. Thank *you*, Sean, for sharing your love for the emotion of melancholy. You are so right--melancholy is not exclusively a sad feeling, but also a thoughtful and introspective one.

      Perhaps my ambivalence lies partly in the fact that the beauty of fall is so short-lived. The leaves only show off their colors for a few weeks, and then it's winter before we know it. Enjoy this uplifting season, and I toast to your positive spin on melancholy!

  2. I keep reading about cooler days and bursting color and wish for it just a little bit because we still don't see the changes here!!!! Love the shoes.

    1. Yes, that was me just a week and a half ago! And then, all of a sudden, it was 65 degrees in the house and I turned on the heater... You probably will, hopefully, feel the change in a few more weeks! And thanks, Susi--I love this pair of shoes, too!

  3. My love for those shoes up there is actually distracting me from crafting this comment!!!!...
    Little known Internet Fact/Well Known Real Life Fact: I kinda sorta maybe might have a shoe thing.
    Keens? By any chance?

    Beautiful post on the conundrum that is Fall, and, my favorite part?
    DD's poem!! My goodness....how old is she again?

    1. You definitely know your shoes, Kim. Indeed they are Keens! I love me some shoes, too :)

      And you, my writer friend, Conundrum is the perfect word I didn't use for this post! Conundrum.

      DD is 9. Can you tell I am so proud of her, without trying to be explicitly so? Thank you! Happy Fall!

  4. Love her imagery! She's definitely trying to capture emotion in subtantive forms. Love it :)

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Kimberly! DD will be so thrilled to hear such nice remarks about her poem! :)

  5. I'm not feeling fall here, but I'm feeling it in your post :) (But I have noticed it's getting cooler...it was only 94 degrees when I left work today!) We don't get the colors of fall, so I do hope you'll post some of your pictures.

    Those shoes are adorable, and that poem your daughter wrote was beautiful. I do wonder what she was thinking about because it seems awfully 'heavy' for a child.

    1. That's kind of a bummer that you don't get to see fall colors, Janna. I've been going crazy snapping all the colorful changes around here. I've posted some on social media sites, but I know you're not on those. I will post them on Promptly--just for you. You cannot miss fall colors--they will for sure make you exhale. I'll have them up sometime next week.

      Thank you re: shoes and DD's poem. I'm not sure what she was thinking about when she wrote this. I just know she was going for a sad feeling. :)

  6. Melancholy sure is beautiful, in it's "gray" sort of way. I love the imagery of a tree chopped down. I love the fall colors too, when the leaves change. So beautiful. I can't wait to photograph it! The only thing I don't like about the summer-to-fall transition is that everyone is sick. Including me. A cough that is finally going away after about 6 days of agony (I exaggerate, of course!). Other than that, I love jackets, coats, sweaters, and layers. I just hope I always dress J accordingly! I'm looking forward to this winter not being as bad as last winter, in terms of sickness, since this is J's second year in daycare. Oh, and what's happening with Feedburner? I use it too. Why do they screw with us all the time? First Google Connect not on WP blogs, now this???? Are they still trying to push Google+ on us? 'Cause I refuse to use it. PS Haven't noticed any change in your feeds yet.

    1. Haha, I've been going snappy-crazy! I've gone out of my way and trespassed to get up close to colorful leaves! Well, this fall allergy is killing me. It's what would get me sick, too, if it keeps up. I hope J is well-immunized from last year :) And I'm glad you're better. Coughs are the WORST.

      I don't know what's going on with Feedburner?! I just know I might break something if I tried to 'fix' it. I will wait and see. Thanks so much!

  7. Oh the joy of fall...I have the same feelings towards it that you do. I love the busyness that is fall and the fun things that are to come, but I miss my long sun-filled warm days. And yikes, pictures ARE next week, aren't they?!

    1. They are, Michelle! Thanks for the reminder; time to get our haircuts! It's so hard to let go of the sun-filled warm weather, especially when the temps get cooler than you'd like. My only saving grace for our winters is the holiday season, but that makes for a miserable after-holiday-season from Jan to April. Sigh.

  8. What a lovely poem by your daughter. The crunchy leaves and cooler temps of fall appeal to me, but it also signals that winter is near, and although the snow is beautiful, the freezing temps are too much for me.

    1. I agree! Only the first snow is ever appealing to me, and then after that, it's just one big haze of sludgy mess and freezing temps that I can do without. Our winters are so brutal. Thanks for the compliment to DD's poem, Asianmommy!