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De Burger-Fex: An ode to autumn and a promise of spring

There’s so much to love about fall, columnist Erna De Burger-Fex writes in her latest Reflection
2016-10-16 fall colours DMH-27
Besides the gorgeous foliage to enhance our surroundings, fall brings numerous wonderful events to our lives.

Besides the gorgeous foliage to enhance our surroundings, fall brings numerous wonderful events to our lives.

The children returning to school in early September give mothers a breather after the long summer vacation. Retired teachers relish the memories of greeting their fresh-faced students on the first day, but are happy that now they are memories to enjoy, not experience.

“We’ve done our time,” as one retired colleague expressed. I agree. I loved teaching and put all my energy into my career, but I am enjoying my retirement to the fullest. (What do you do with all your time, I’m often asked. Silly question, as I’m now as busy as I ever was.)

Thanksgiving helps us to pause and consider all the people and events in our lives for which we are grateful. For me, that means my good health, my family and siblings, loyal friends, my home and the ability to participate in the activities of my choice. (I also love my delicious afternoon naps. I’m getting old and I don’t have to make excuses to anyone!) Thanksgiving also turns my thoughts to God, who has created me and the wonderful world surrounding me.

I can’t forget Halloween, of course, a day eagerly anticipated by the children as they go “trick or treating” in their neighbourhoods – with a parent for safety. I loved when they came to my door while we lived on Wavell Street in Creighton Mine, as I knew all the children and sometimes asked them to do a little dance or sing a song. They loved to be recognized!

Remembrance Day, Nov. 11, is most important to all Canadians and wearing a poppy symbolizes our appreciation of the veterans who fought for our freedom repeatedly.

I am particularly thankful to the Canadian soldiers who liberated The Netherlands, the country of my birth, at the end of the Second World War. Dutch people still express their gratitude in many ways, one of which is to maintain the Canadian military cemeteries in perfect condition. Another is to send thousands of tulip bulbs to Ottawa as gifts annually. 

Attending Remembrance Day ceremonies at Sudbury Arena evidences our gratitude to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. If you cannot attend the ceremonies at the arena, the television networks broadcast the inspiring, stately commemorations in Ottawa beginning at 10:30 a.m. (My editor tells me the local Nov. 11 ceremonies will be shown live on as well) Seeing the spontaneous placing of attendants’ poppies on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier always makes me emotional.

I so appreciate planting crocus and daffodil bulbs in autumn. I anticipate the beautifully coloured blooms that will greet me in early spring. The promise of springtime colour helps me endure our difficult winters.

Fall, autumn, is certainly not a boring season with so many happenings to anticipate. Enjoy!

Erna de Burger-Fex is a writer and retired teacher who writes about aging and the funny side of getting older.

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