Monday, October 13, 2008

Fall Fest: A is for Acorn

Good morning.

This week we will celebrate many of our favorite things about Fall.  I'm a simple girl, so I thought we would use the letters F-A-L-L-F-E-S-T as a tour guide.  That's the good news.  The bad news is the bus already left and we're a day behind.  We'll use yesterday (the letter "F") to pay tribute to America's favorite fall sport... FOOTBALL.  If your town is anything like ours, there were enough high school homecoming football games this weekend to warrant football's spot on center stage.  We topped the weekend off with the Cowboys losing in overtime to AZLori's team!  The Packers, on the other hand, beat Seattle Seahawks 27-17.

Now to to the letter "A."  I love acorns as a symbol for fall.  I'm not quite sure, why.  Maybe because acorns connect to Oak trees, which connects to leaves, which connects to beautiful fall colors.  Or, maybe because I've never known how to whistle... EXCEPT when using the cap of an acorn.  Whatever the reason... acorns immediately conjure up thoughts of fall. 

The nice thing about acorns is they laden with symbolism.  Below are some examples.  See what you think.

"Great oaks from little acorns grow." - English Proverb.

"The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun.  It's the one that stands in the open where it compelled to struggle for existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun."  - Napoleon Hill

Did you know... In Britain, one tradition has it that if a woman carries an acorn on her person it will delay the aging process and keep her forever young?

And, of course, there's the long standing story called, "The Acorn Planter," written by Brian Cavanaugh.
"In the 1930s a young travler was exploring the French Alps.  He came upon a vast stretch of barren land.  It was desolate.  It was forbidding.  It was ugly.  It was the kind of place you hurry away from.

Then, suddenly, the young traveler stopped dead in his tracks.  In the middle of this vast wasteland was a bent-over old man.  On his back was a sack of acorns.  In his hand was a four-foot length of pipe. 

The man was using the iron pipe to punch holes in the ground.  Then from the sack he would take an acorn and put it in the hole.  Later the old man said to the traveler, "I've planted over 100,000 acorns.  Perhaps only a tenth of them will grow."  The old man's wife and son had died, and this was how he chose to spend his final years.  "I want to do something useful," he said.

Twenty-five years later the now-not-as-young traveler returned to the same desolate area.  What he saw amazed him.  He could not believe his own eyes.  The land was covered with a beautiful forest two miles wide and five miles long.  Birds were singing, animals were playing, and wild flowers perfumed the air.

The traveler stood there recalling the desolation that once was; a beautiful oak forest stood there now - all because someone cared."

There are a few big Oak trees on our block and lots and lots of them at a nearby park.  I think that today the boys and I might gather a container full of acorns.  Maybe then I'll mail them in packages to people whose patience and long hard work, I think has made the world a more beautiful place.

Oh, and maybe I'll slip one in my pocket... just in case there's any truth to the whole bit about delaying-the-aging-process.

How about you?  Do you have someone to whom you could send an acorn?

Or, is there another word beginning with the letter "A" that reminds you of fall?  Let us know.
Special Note:
  • Happy Belated Birthday, Layne!  Layne and Heather share the same birthday.  We caught Heather on the front end, but we'll kick the week off wishing Layne well.

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