Some Thoughts About Autumn

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Yesterday I took the day off from work to pull out dying vines and plants from my garden.  My summer garden supplemented the diets of several people in three households, but now the tomato vines are spent and the squash and cucumber plants are mildewed and turning white.    (To see the progress of my garden over the past year, click HERE).  After pulling out the dead things and mixing the soil with some manure, I cleaned up, went home and continued this “weeding” by decluttering my house and getting rid of accumulated paperwork that had piled up over the last couple of months.

We all know and probably celebrate the various harvest festivals during this period, such as Thanksgiving, but autumn is more than reaping what we have sown and nurtured during the year.  Autumn is also a time of pausing and taking into account the maturity that we have achieve in all our endeavors.  It is a time to clean up and prepare for the rest and replenishment that comes from the dark time of the upcoming winter.   It is not surprising then that some cultures celebrate their New Year around this time.  This past week was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and in a few weeks will come Halloween (Samhain), the traditional New Year observance in the Celtic tradition.   According to traditional Chinese cosmology, Spring and Summer are the “Yang” part of the year — the time of growth and fruition.  Autumn begins the part of the year which is “Yin”, a time of retreating energy and restoration.     It is a time of assessing what we have accomplished.   It is a time to breathe and acknowledge what is complete in our lives.

To commemorate this season, here is a poem I wrote a few years ago:

Spent from their fiery rampage,
Santa Anas
rest and brood,
flat-lining smoke
over the still indigo of the bay,
a remnant of their holocaust
through the hills.  Swollen

pus-yellow moon slowly sinks;
ocherous shafts of dawn light
prophesy yet another hot
October day,
while Santa Anas,
hot off the desert, wait
for the end of the day.

The devil winds herald
the arrival of the dead–
The Eve of All Hallows
The Day of All Saints
El Dia del los Muertos
From the Hebrides to New Spain
celebrations of death call

for a time of reflection,
a preparation for rebirth,
by the winds of change
that burn the chaff,
nourish the earth,
and make way
for sweet winter rain.   (LGloyd (c) 1997)

Pelican1 (c) 1997, 2011

4 responses »

  1. Autumn is a beautiful time of year – my favourite. I like the way you reflect on the cyclical nature of things in your post. It’s a good observation to make as many people are going through hard times. Like the Marion Faithful song says – to everything there is a season, turn, turn, turn. (I think it comes from the Old Testament)

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