Tuesday, November 25, 2008
In mid November we know it surely cannot be long until first frost. Other nearby places have had theirs already but somehow we live on in summer country. This has been an unusually dry and sunny Autumn, the big maple leaves have turned yellow and orange and have drifted lightly down to lie as a gentle comforter upon the ground.
The recent rains when they came filled Big Pond in one pelting night and now the seasonal stream once more trickles and murmurs down the hillside. The dampened land and rotting stumps sprout delicate rose-tinted mushrooms. It is an evocative time of year.
This final flair of colour as we creep toward the shortest day of the year brings me along with it. I keep busy with my projects, working hard to complete them before winter makes outside work more limited and also to keep my mood from being pulled too far downward by the fall of autumn leaves.
It is a delicate balance: there is an obvious sadness of farewell to the ending of growth that I could wish to avoid, there is beauty and poignancy that I wish to experience to the full. A third grandchild arrived on Thanksgiving day - Clara Rose - and looking into her lovely little face has reminded me of the march of my own human season as well. No wonder this season, these falling leaves, bring thoughts of my own mortality.
I look searchingly up into the almost bare maple branches and down into their reflections in the dark pools of water and feel them calling that this time of sleep for them is a necessary part of the yearly cycle of life. This is not a time for sadness but a vivid celebration of renewal. It is Spring buds that have forced the old leaves off the trees and the sap recedes to concentrate for renewal when the sun rises higher in the sky once more. Vale, Vale.