Board Message – Andy Hansen

I am LOVING this autumn weather!  A few days ago, we had the type of rainy deluge that Nebraskans call a “frog strangler,” making driving tense but exhilarating!   The air is already crisp and leaves have just begun to reveal their colors.  Did you know that those same colors are in the leaf during most of its life-span?  The autumn environment signals the tree to stop making chlorophyll, the green thus recedes, and the colorful secrets of the leaf emerge.

Each October 11th is National Coming-Out Day.

Do you have beautiful colors in you that others don’t suspect?  Passions they haven’t seen?  Is it time for some self-revelation about the nature of your Truth?  Consider coming out, on any day of the year; it’s a great tool for self-esteem, social justice and community.

September meant back-to-school , even those of us long-finished with classrooms (except in our dreams!)  September was newness and renewed focus, but still with the lingering sense of summer excitement.

October and November, on the other hand, are the harvest season, a time for in-gathering, shorter days, stunning moons,  of squash, persimmon, cranberries, root vegetables and sweet musky spices.  It’s my favorite “food season” and Thanksgiving my favorite holiday, so I’m a happy man of late.

But I still have a bowl of tomatoes on the sideboard, and they accuse me gently of abandoning them; they are edible but somehow the spirit of their time has passed and I don’t feel the joy in them I once felt.  I so looked forward to their coming last March and April, and celebrated them as the harvest began.  What paled their allure?

In another ten weeks or so, I’ll start feeling this way about Hachiya persimmons.  I love this strange fruit, its aesthetic perfection, its unique cloying sweetness that can suddenly give way to sharp astringency.  Lots of people think they’re odd, which makes me love them the more.  But, for me, the magic of their spirit too shall pass.

These symbols of the passing seasons enchant my senses.  The greater part of their magic is the anticipation they engender, the sense of cycling through the years, the inward peace that comes from a desire satisfied.  It is a great Mystery that life is at once durable and fleeting; it is the way of nature.  It is the way of my seasonal enthusiasms.  Each transient treasure begins as an expectant vision, can ripen into a perfect moment of “having,” and will be inexorably followed by the small death of my interest as new life