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09/25/07 12:28PM By David Moats
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(HOST) As September gives way to October, commentator David Moats is thinking about how seasons give definition to the year - and to our lives.

(MOATS) It was a sunny Saturday, and I was on the front steps, admiring the tall cosmos plants and their profusion of pink blossoms.

And as I did, I thought back to those feverish days of spring when I put those feathery plants into the ground.

It was this moment right now, in late summer, plants tipping from their own weight, that I was looking toward when I planted the cosmos back then, and the marigolds and snapdragons, not to mention the tomatoes, peppers, squash and everything else.

The flowering is pleasurable and satisfying, especially on a lazy afternoon in the sun.

But does the pleasure of culmination answer the anticipation of planting?

A friend of my daughter's was talking to her the other day about the way that life runs in seasons.

She's in the May of her life now, full of possibility, with the planting of new projects and ideas and the cultivation of new friendships.

It is a time of hope, with an eye on present joys and future satisfactions.

So if she is in the May of her life, where am I?

I'd have to say September.

It's not just the cosmos that has reached its flowering.

So have my daughter and her two brothers.

So has so much else.

I can think back to my feverish spring, the great surges of emotion and the drama of getting a life under way.

Part of what was going on then was looking ahead to the time when I could sit on the porch in the sun and appreciate the beauty of it all.

There is nothing new in the observation that life has its seasons.

"O, how shall summer's honey breath hold out
Against the wrackful siege of batt'ring days,
When rocks impregnable are not so stout,
Nor gates of steel so strong but Time decays."

That's from Shakespeare's Sonnet number 65, and I've always liked the line about "summer's honey breath."

Of course, we know that summer's honey breath does not hold out.

In my younger years I had a fondness for the autumnal tone in art and music and literature, a taste for melancholy that cut the craziness of youth with a dose of realism.

Now that I've reached September, I'm a big fan of spring, of birth and renewal, of the tender greens of May, of the days when it's time to plant.

Author Viktor Frankl wrote of the past as a store of great riches.

A lot of people look at the bare stubble of the harvested field and think of the past as a place of loss and emptiness.

Viktor Frankl said to think instead of granaries bursting with the harvest of memory and experience.

The cosmos are leaning toward the sun on a Saturday afternoon in September.

I am the one who put the cosmos into the ground, watered them when necessary and got rid of the weeds, or most of them.

And now - the flowering.

David Moats is an author and Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial writer at the Rutland Herald.

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