One of the greatest traditions of Autumn across the country. Football, falling leaves, returning to alma mater stomping grounds, university family weekends. Gathering with old friends, sometimes far away family to relish and renew the youthful feelings that surged when we were teens. And of course, Spirit. School Spirit, in whatever form that took.
We recently celebrated the final Homecoming with our Tiger. Below are some thoughts composed as our family eagerly prepared for the culmination of an athletic family tradition, played out on multiple courts, fields, and tracks over 16 years. A celebration of time well spent, dedication well expressed. Perhaps you have experienced something similar.
Oh of course, there's the splendor of the Spring, with all its growth and promise and shiny newness, peeking toward coming sunshine from behind the frosted curtain of Winter.
Then Summer, well, Summer. Tossed schedules, late mornings, second cuppas, what shall we do todays. Nature, camping, water play, the trappings of the breaths we cherish as we prepare for the next school year, the next set of mundane routines, moving us along to the next set of life's expectations.
And Winter, it is always what it is supposed to be. The Holiday season shouts,"It's all good! Here! Have some celebration, raise a glass and share some shiny objects with one another. 'Cuz the days ahead offer darkness, and a weariness that may challenge your spirit." So it does, usually anyway.
The necessary cocoon, every year; in order that Spring will be as enthusiastically welcomed as needs must.
Just the order of things.
Nature in due course, all that sort of thing.
But Autumn, Fall? Come to think of it, it's the only season with two names. Am I right?
Surely there is merit in that alone.
Autumn glows, slow. It allows Summer to linger, languid as we begin those aforementioned necessary routines, which press us into contained measures of our intellectual worth. And Winter, Winter is far off... faaaarrr off, beyond the back to back celebrations, bedecked with burnt, bold hues and characterisitc decor.
Autumn is orange and gold, pumpkins and cinnamon, wreaths and ribbons, corn and wheat and harvest. It is scarves and beanies, flasks and thermoses, firesides and football.
This week, we celebrate our final Homecoming as a SLOHS Tiger family. Our first was the Fall of 2005. (Well, actually, the Fall of 1977.) That was awhile ago. Quite awhile ago. To say there has been change since '05 is to chuckle. Loudly. And here we are, storms weathered, championships enjoyed, challenges stared down, accomplishments acknowledged...here we are.
BoyO will play on Friday night. We will dress up to honor him along with the rest of the Seniors, grateful they got a season, grateful we got to place our butts on benches to cheer and jeer at shoddy reffing. It's worthy celebration. Most worthy.
Perhaps you will attend your Homecoming game and support your community kiddos who have endured a whole buncha stuff, not of their making. Perhaps you will find your way to your old stomping grounds and enjoy some spoils of the season, remembrances of simpler times shared with dear friends.
Perhaps you will just give a thought to young people today, the obstacles they have faced, and will continue to face...athletes, cheerleaders, musicians...all just wanting to celebrate their youth in the only way they know. Unhindered.
Perhaps you will reflect, in the Autumn of your life, your Homecomings, as our own seasons are pressing forward.
I am soberly preparing the Leaving of a Home our family has known for 16 years. Makes Homecoming heartwarming.