Time Essay: A Season for Hymning and Hawing

Technically, it begins next week. Actually, it began with the epic sigh of relief that could be sensed all over the U.S. right after Labor Day. Even before it arrives, Americans always manage to get into autumn. And no wonder. It is easily the most habitable season of the year.

Indeed, autumn deserves a hymn—and it has received far less tribute than it deserves. True, some mixed notices have come in over the centuries. Horace slandered autumn as a "dread" period—"harvest-season of the Goddess of Death." He was dead wrong, of course, for as Ovid noted, once he got his mind off...

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