03 November 2011
Two weeks ago at the local botanical garden
More Autumnal Photographs of my Pond
Mother Nature surprised my garden and me last weekend. The temps dropped dramatically and a wintery storm hit with harsh winds–much too soon for my equilibrium. The forecast had me collecting the last traces of summer’s bounty and autumn’s fare: rosemary, parsley, arugula, tangerine sage blossoms, and hydrangea clusters. Then I gathered pine needles and oak leaves to bed the arugula, blueberries and parsley for the winter months. This ritual is needed for me to make the transition–the mental leap from the balmy warmth of summer and gentle glaze of autumn to the chilling days ahead.
Even after nature’s blast of ice and snow, the sage stood tall with blossoms and flowers, and parsley was ready for duty. The rosemary could have cared less. Well, no damage in my small part of the universe. Even next night’s first hard frost was less than dramatic.
Autumn gives rise to reassessment of my gardens. So I went to my favorite nursery and bought another high-bush blueberry and a scarlet agastache, happily planting them for next gardening season. Then I made a note of my plan to rearrange the vegetable gardens to accommodate the sporadic weather of my region’s springs and summers.
Since this season is holding tight to her stance, it gives me time to adjust to what is the inevitable: winter. Every year I struggle to create a Zen attitude toward the cold months ahead. I rationalize the need for Mother Earth to go through the life cycle, and I tell myself how fortunate I am to live where the four seasons keep prancing their stuff (although with climate changes and fluctuations who knows what will happen–even if we’ll keep experiencing four seasons in the Mid-Atlantic).
Trees are shedding their cover slowly with a quiet dignity, embarking on another phase. This alteration of the visual landscape is emblematic of Mother Nature’s whispering: the quiet and often vocal drama before her next move.
With the (seemingly) glacial-like changes last month my garden still reminds me of the tough season we had. As I clean and prepare for its dormancy, I am re-appropriating spaces for next year’s bounty.
The signs of metamorphosis are increasing, and they easily remind me that traces of autumn mirror the traces of self. We tend to divide our external and internal universe into nature and human nature. But, for me, everything is played on the same field–no separation, no exclusions. As we watch nature, we are watching ourselves: the transience of life.
Note: Please let me know which is your favorite photograph from each grouping.