Tag Archives: autumn

Welcome to the Green House

There’s a rose in the pathway this morning, pink velvet sparkling in sunshine under indigo sky. There’s a whole crowd of them, singing together, dark leaves shadowing dainty petals.

The shade is cool, almost frosty. Breath puffs from people and chimneys, floating silently to heaven, untouched by any breeze. The first leaves of red fire tap-tap-tap, blown across the pavement with dozens of siblings, finally touching down after drinking sunlight all summer long.

There’s a chill in the air.

Pedestrians walk by, looking through windows from well-kept pathways. One building has plants in each frame, every story. Long leaves, broad, wide, tall, every color, every shape, as unique as human beings. Gardeners in the greenhouse, watering with care. It must be warm in there. Uncomfortably warm. No fresh air. Only a lush, humid jungle, miles north of the equator.

Most folks take a glance and walk on by. Some tap on the windows, let themselves in, and someday wear a gardener’s hat of their own. Someday they’ll be looking out at a world of crystal ice from their patch of Amazon soil, hear a knock on the glass, and open the door.

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Prelude

Tonight is cool, after several sweltering days. June fireflies dance in the meadow, and young goldenrods shoot upwards. The grass is still now that the sun has set. It’s silent, until the softest breeze tickles the treetops, sends them rushing like ocean ripples on sand. The breeze blows itself out in a few seconds, and then another gentle breath flows by.

A woodcock flies by in the twilight, whistling its song as fast as its hectic wings beat. The bird is a blur in the distance, barely visible, when another blur joins it. Both dive downwards and are gone. The song is over; a companion is found.

The sky and shadowland are both still. Jupiter shines. First stars twinkle. The fireflies and one lonely cricket are holding back, staying subtle. It’s only June. August is the time for nighttime ruckus, the last hoedown of summer.

Tonight, the soft, dying breaths of wind are prelude to autumn. I’ve heard them before under cold, empty skies, full harvest moon glaring over a barren October landscape. Tree branches clink together. Leaves rustle. I shiver with cold.

But tonight it’s June. And just as February’s sunshine foretells the spring thaw, this night whispers of coming frost.

June14s

Seasons of Change

Spring has long been my favorite season. I love to feel the aura of growth everywhere, of the world waking up. Even at night I can sense the change through the temperature and tone of the wind.

Now it’s late summer, and change is coming again. The sun’s light is clearer with lower humidity, so everything looks brighter. The slanting rays will get much lower before the leaves fall, but this year I can feel that the warm days are numbered, and it seems the plants and insects know as well. In spring the change is more sudden, but fall’s magic is just as strong.

moglosmall
Morning glory, dill seeds, and cilantro blossoms in my garden.

These are the two turning points of the year. I think they’re the most spellbinding.

Oddly, when seasons change in my own life, they don’t get a warm welcome. After a few years of college and attempting to be a grown-up, I know that events I feel the most apprehension about are the ones that change me the most and result in the most learning. Driving a car. Figuring out how to manage a film shoot come rain or shine and only one chance. Attacking unexplored subject material. I fear the unknown, but after looking back on the new experiences I’ve survived, I see that excursions into uncharted territory yield the strongest memories—they make me feel more alive.

Seasons of change are beautiful. They come in bursts. And just like Autumn’s leaves of fire, they don’t last for long.

morninglight2
Stereopair with sumacs!