A Greencastle native and a 2017 graduate of Wabash College, Brand Selvia is passionate about history, conversation and classic cars. Nicknamed "Brando" by family and friends, Selvia loves chatting over a cup of coffee, as well as joyriding in his 1974 Volkswagen Beetle.
The fall season is coming ever closer as I continue to find the next interesting story to write.
The leaves are starting to turn from their summer green to their autumn hues of yellow and brown. The weather still retains a summer warmth during the day, but it has gotten chillier at night. It will not be long before we will have to start wearing jackets.
Not that I'm complaining. Fall is probably the season that I like most. It is the mediator between the sweltering summer heat and the biting winter air that will inevitably come.
Fall is not a very happy time if you look at it cynically. The flowers become tangled weeds. High school girls freak out about their pumpkin spice lattes. You know that the snow is coming, and you really can't do anything about it.
If winter can represent a kind of death, fall represents a kind of depressive phase.
The ancient Greeks explained the changing of the seasons with the story of Persephone and Hades, where the god of the underworld forcibly took her as his wife. The world would turn cold as Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, retreated into despair, causing no crops to grow until her daughter returned to the Earth.
As I think about Persephone's plight and what fall means in a symbolic way, I still look forward to the sense of joy and coziness that accompanies the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.
However, as I have thought about the days getting shorter, I have found myself in some reflection about the dual nature of happiness and dread.
Yesterday was the 17th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks, an event that seems to now be a detached reality. The reality is that it happened, and it changed our nation's collective paradigm about how vulnerable we really are. It's an event that kindergarteners are learning about as history, and not as something they saw live on CNN that morning.
I am also thinking about the anniversary of another tragedy that is still fresh, and that still hits close to home. Monday marked two years since a Wabash student committed suicide on campus. In one way or another, I think about him every day, about how we can help others and about how to be honest about mental health.
Both of these events occurred as the world was beginning to turn cold in 2001 and 2016. Now, another fall season is coming. Persephone will be forced to return once again to the underworld and leave Demeter to grieve.
But winter is eventually met with spring. In one sense, death is met with renewal.
I think that whoever wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes got it right when he said that there is, "a time to every purpose under Heaven."