Back in the far-off year of 1976, blue-collar rock warrior Bob Seger became an overnight sensation at the age of 31 after spending about half his life chasing the golden musical ring. His huge hit “Night Moves” jump-started his career and pushed him to superstardom.
I was a much thinner and much less wise moppet of 20 years old then – about halfway through my five years to an engineering degree, having just started dating my future wife and spending weekends leading youth retreats trying to figure out who I was and who I would be.
That song was a journey back to the early times of falling in lust with lots of lyrics that were aimed at the young men in the audience. But I was always taken, almost shaken, by the following stanza.
How far-off, I sat and wondered
Started humming a song from nineteen-sixty-two
When you just don’t seem to have as much to lose
Strange how the night moves
With autumn closing in”
Now maybe at 31 years old, he felt like autumn was closing in on him, though since he has made it to 77 years old, and his 30’s and 40’s were a huge part of his career, it is likely autumn didn’t come along until his 50’s.
Of course, in the rock and roll world, a chunk of folks don’t make it to the 30s or 40s – Jimi, Janis, and Jim – we miss you.
But when you are 20 years old, and you think that in a few years you will be looking back at where you are now, and these will be the great, memorable times, it can be a bit daunting. Autumn seems like a time of leaves dying and hopes dying too.
These days when I am likely closer to winter than autumn, it is not so daunting. Autumn has always been my favorite time of year, and in some ways, it has been my favorite time of life. I’ve known more, and life (other than some health issues) has been easier. Money has been more plentiful, and with the kids off, it lasts a bit longer.
And what does this have to do with baseball and the Astros? Well, year after year, autumn is the special time, if your team is still playing. For us Astros’ fans, it was not always that way. For huge chunks of our lives, it was the time of year that reminded us that our team was not ready to go forward. But during this grand Astros Renaissance, autumn has been a glorious time with our team year after year, charging deep into the playoffs and to the World Series three times.
So, what will be singing or humming a few years from now when this great time is merely a wonderful panoramic view in the rearview mirror of our ’57 Chevy? Hopefully, we will see these autumns as a window into a wonderful world, not something that is closing in on us.