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A new season

Nature generally acts on its own schedule.  Season follows season, each in its own time.  That’s why it is so completely starteling when the timing so closely follows what “should” happen.  Yesterday was Labor Day, the traditional “end” to summer.  This morning, there were fallen leaves on the ground.

Alaskan summers are short, and we tend to start counting down the days from the very beginning of summer.  It’s the only place in the world I have lived where the radio station gives a daily countdown of the number of minutes of daylight gained or lost.   Even so, we are seldom ready when summer gives way as the seasons turn.

As a consolation prize, there is an absolutely undeniable beauty to fall.  While spring comes with shades of green unimaginable at other times of the year, fall brings in the reds and burgundies.  It’s a fractal of color, where the trees on a distant mountain top mirror the lichen on the nearby rock.  A certain symmetry of repeating patterns, just as season follows season.   The death part of rebirth.  Beautiful, but still the coming darkness.  An excellent time to remember the writings of Gordon Bok.

It’s a pity we don’t know what the little flowers know;
they can’t face the cold November, they can’t take the wind and snow.
They put their glories all behind them, bow their heads and let it go
but you know that they’ll be shining in the morning.

Ah, my Joanie don’t you know that the stars are swinging slow,
the seas are rolling easy as they did so long ago.
If I had a thing to give you, I would tell you one more time
that the world is always turning towards the morning.

Take heart and take care.

Cross-posted to Livejournal and


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A handful of years ago, I took a two-week yoga intensive class. One day, we were watching a video, and the yogi talked about how thousands of people dock to the East coast in the fall to see the leaves.

But really, what they are going there for is to see the leaves dying. And in their death they are more beautiful, more themselves, more individual than they have ever been in their short lives.

I have never forgotten this.

That is a worthwhile thought to remember, kind of like the quote about loving a flower and not picking it so that it may live.

The colors of the alpine tundra areas are one of the things that I miss.

Thanks for reminding me of that.

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