Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Roll up, roll up...

Horse Chestnut Yellow

Delicate Beech in the sunlight at Wytham Woods

Oak crown and outline from Wytham Wood
..for the autumn pageant. It's a once a year extravaganza but you can't miss it, especially not in England this year. Just open your eyes and it's all around you demanding attention, begging you to inhale great lungfuls of the magnificent scents. Marvel at every tree taking its turn in the spotlight. All. The. Leaves. (Many now in my house!).

I used to think that the spike of energy I get in this season of spectacular decay was a little at odds to what was going on around me. I thought it due in part to cool, crisp, bright days and rain soaked breezes refreshing me after the (sometimes) hot summer. Due in the main to the school new year imprinted from childhood and reinforced by years working in academia. The more I slow down and look at what nature is actually doing at this time of year the more I see other clues as to why October is the month in which I start my new year.

Underneath the showy shedding of the leaves they are finished with, I now see the deciduous trees setting their buds for next spring. I see the squirrels playing kiss chase and creating their stores. I see the birds moulting out their used up feathers as the new push their way through. I used to see this season as the start of the plunge down into the colourless winter. The last hurrah as the light was chased away. The protest before the cold won out. Now I have a sense of harmony with these new beginnings. As if we're all laying the ground work for what will be picked up again in the spring once the resting time of winter is through.

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