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the secret hearts of autumn

That time of year has come, the red-gold time, when people begin speaking of Nature dying. It is of course spring down here at the far end of the earth, but most of my reading circles comprise northerners, for whom Nature has begun to turn applewise, cold, slightly haunting. I have begun seeing poetic reminders that autumn and winter teach us about death within life.

But I myself believe the opposite. It seems to me autumn is the season of birthing. Plants send their seeds on the air, into the soil, and through fruit and nuts, to hopefully grow future plants. These tiny dark hearts wrapped in layers and baffles are like the great secrets of wisdom and magic hidden in old Eastern fairytales, only this story is the richest and most beautiful of all.

Plants also shed leaves for their own little bit of earth in anticipation of new life to come, ensuring that while they lie pregnant in the winter dark they will be nourished by their own rot. As the year deepens, we watch them go into a confinement in which all their energy is focussed on the growth within. To us it looks like death because we are seeingly selfishly. We are caring only that the plants have nothing to give us. But within the earth, where their existence is the richest, plants are busy with life.

I suppose I could say something now that applied this to human experience also. Creativity happens also in silence, or some such. But that's just more selfishness. The life of plants is not unfolded as a lesson for me. Better than that - it is an opportunity for companionship, empathy, neighbourliness.

ps, it took me hours to set up yesterday's template, only for me to realise today that most people would be following direct links and so they missed entirely the interesting front page which is what actually inspired me about the template. Reverting to this currently look has inspired a quiet train of thought about something I might like to do with this webspace, a new focus, and just in time for the equinox. Look for changes to come in the days ahead.


  1. I love Autumn -- it is my very favorite season :-) Interestingly, I don't think of it as a dying season! Perhaps for me that is more the feel of Winter where we live: the quiescent season where much of nature is hidden under deep dark ice and snow ... Autumn has so much LIFE and color and scent and glory! :-)

    I love knowing you are birthing Spring just as we labor into Autumn! What a glorious world, eh?!

  2. autumn always has felt like starting fresh to me. there are these rhythms to the world, which exist in us too, of course. seed-time, dream-time, birth-time...

    maybe the best thing about it is that "death" looks so vivid, and contrasts so beautifully with the following bare and quiet winter-tide. seeds sleep beneath the sere and snow, waiting for their next stage of life... i agree that feeling into that, with empathy rather than impatience for fruits or a didactic chestnut, is more neighborly. and more appropriate.

    gratitude time...

  3. Changes are good, but don't change too much...
    I like you just the way you are. ♥


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