I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house. So I have spent almost all the daylight hours in the open air.
–Nathaniel Hawthorne(1804-1864), 10th October, 1842
I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news.
–John Muir (1838-1914)
I cherish the loneliness of autumn…. I am forty, I have become mortal. I have no further psychic, emotional, or intellectual need to prolong summer seasons, and it is only when autumn begins its play that I can truly focus on the rich and vital life I am living. All of a sudden I grow alert. October is a hallelujah! reverberating in my body year round…. The air is dusty, it smells of dry pine needles; yet I sense imminent ice in the clear blue sky…. How I appreciate everything…fully! After all, tomorrow this reprieve will be buried by blizzards, crushed under slabs of doomsday ice. I cannot waste a minute indoors! I must take advantage of this gift, wedged so tentatively between summer’s hectic somnolence and winter’s harsh apogee…. Each perfect day, I know, is going to be the last beautiful day of autumn.
–John Nichols (b. 1940),
The Last Beautiful Days of Autumn