It’s the age-old debate about the chicken and the egg. Sometimes, we simply don’t know what is cause and what is effect.

This is especially true when it comes to matters that touch on personal feeling.

As a for-instance, do you love cream of broccoli soup because your Grandma used to make it? Or do you love your Grandma because she made the best darned cream of broccoli soup on the planet?

(If you hate cream of broccoli soup, it’s probably not Old Gran’s fault. I’m you still have tons of fond memories of her for a host of other reasons.)

Science may eventually solve the conundrum of whether the egg preceded the chicken, or vice versa. But I’m not holding my breath. And I’m resigned to the fact that no-one will ever know with certainty why that darned clucker crossed

It’s the age-old debate about the chicken and the egg. Sometimes, we simply don’t know what is cause and what is effect.

This is especially true when it comes to matters that touch on personal feeling.

As a for-instance, do you love cream of broccoli soup because your Grandma used to make it?

the road.

Many things in life can keep an under-utilized brain busy trying to unravel what triggered which, or which triggered what. Perhaps more so as we get older and farther away from our formative years.

When I was a snippet of about eight years old, I was enchanted by a photo of Edinburgh Castle the teacher pinned to our classroom wall. I dreamed of that place day and night (mostly day, because I was the day-dreamy sort).

Soon, I was ransacking the Book of Knowledge and every back issue of National Geographic I could lay my hands on, searching for pictures of Scotland. I was convinced it was a magical kingdom, with all those misty, moody castles.

When I finally saw Edinburgh Castle in the flesh at the age of 53, I was instantly smitten. I wanted to stay there forever, or possibly longer.

But why? Did I love it for itself and the sense of history it imparted, or because it looked exactly like that unforgettable photo? Do we love fresh bread because it smells like a bakery, or do we love bakeries because they smell like fresh bread?

A brilliant neurosurgeon like the late Wilder Penfield might be able to figure that out. Not me.

This all came to mind recently when I was editing a photo essay about autumn for What’s Up Yukon.

All unbidden, that delicious poem of John Keats sprang to mind. You know the one, about mists and mellow fruitfulness, and autumn conspiring with the sun to load the vines running around the eaves with fruit. Et cetera.

Maybe it’s because I’m an aging sentimentalist who has adored that poem since the first time I encountered it. But here’s the question:

Is autumn my favourite season because of that poem, or do I cherish that poem because autumn is my favourite season?

Are we talking chicken, or egg?