but the wine and the song like the seasons have all gone . . . ."
- from Seasons in the Sun
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This is a turning point in the seasons. It is not acknowledged on calendar time as an equinox or a solstice nor as a holiday. And yet I sense it all around me and within all living beings. There is a stillness. . . . . .
The extreme heat of the past few weeks has broken; cooler days and even cooler nights have returned. A stillness - no surge of storms or gusty winds that accompany major weather changes. Fields lie yellowing, tired, after having produced voluptuously, abundantly. Corn is not quite ready to harvest but beans, peppers, tomatoes and herbs are at the peak of their ripeness and flavor. Stellar jays are returning as hazelnuts, their food of choice, are just greening on the trees. Stillness. . . . .
People are turning attention to the last of things – the last camping trip, the last outdoor concerts, the last weeks for vacations. Simultaneously, football practice and band rehearsals have begun at the high school. Scores of notebooks, pencils, crayons and markers flood the stores; new clothes for the coming season are on the racks and shelves. While all of nature is easing into a slower, quieter rhythm, people seem to be scurrying. Like the ant in the fable about the grasshopper and the ant, hurrying in preparation for what comes next. Savoring the waning days of summer, storing up for the winter.
Sometimes it appears as if humans operate in opposition to nature. We speed up as the natural world relinquishes its busyness. And yet we humans are no different than the plants who flourish then retire, the bear who relishes the fullness as she prepares for rest, the birds who instinctively make their way from summer’s bounty to hospitable winter habitats, the salmon whose life cycle is predictable and timeless. The same life force inhabits all of us, supports our being en-liven-ed, guides our seasonal changes, and is impartial about the conclusion of our life cycles. When we humans know ourselves to be, in truth, but one element in a living matrix -a part of yet not more or less than the created All - then our dramas, the life stories that we drag around and repeat, our fears and limitations and our grandiosity may lose their importance and fall away. Here is transcendence. Here is where we find peace. Here is where we know god.
A stillness. . . . . .