01 October 2014

The Birth of Autumn

Fall has always been my favorite season.
The time when everything bursts with its last beauty,
as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.
~ Lauren DeStefano, Wither

The Harvester Island Wilderness Workshop was incredible.  I went to write with 11 strangers, and I left with 15 new friends.  In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting my photos and thoughts on the workshop and on the beauties of Kodiak, Alaska.

appy New Year!  L’Shana Tovah!

Autumn is often seen as a time of death and decay ~ leaves falling, ground hardening, summer’s harvest withering.  And, yes ~ all that is happening.

But if we stop there, we’ve only read Autumn’s flap copy.*

Our societal myopia of focusing almost exclusively on the surface, the first impression image, extends to our perception of the seasons.  Signs of negative change ~ the brown grass, the fading sun, the gradually colder weather ~ become all we see while we forget that all that decay on top seeps underground and feeds the seeds and beneficial bugs for next Spring’s buds and blooms.

Autumn Leaves and Apples
© Igor Yaruta
Maybe I am in a privileged minority, but I have always thought that the new year should begin in Autumn, and the images the word conjures are as far from death and decay as fresh apple cider is from hard cider.

Explosion of colour
Reading by the fire
Wool blankets
Flannel shirts
Apple cider
Constant Comment tea
Reciting poetry in an ancient graveyard

Autumn is a time of ripening, harvesting, cider pressing, storing up for the coming winter.  It is a season of celebration of life, not a time of sadness and mourning the end of summer.

So grab an apple, dip it in caramel, and join me amoung the worn gravestones.

To Autumn
William Blake

O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stain’d
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.

The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust’ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather’d clouds strew flowers round her head.

The spirits of the air live in the smells
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.”
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat,
Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

*Flap copy is the term used for the book synopsis on the inside of a dust jacket.

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