While I was gardening

The art of gardening and the science of life.

October Theme: A Sense of Time.

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Have you seen how autumn hurries home?  In a rush of small motions, all direction and purpose, sunlight flies past our eyes.  With barely time to blink a leaf falls from a high perch and lands upon its dying kin.  Gold on brown.  Beauty on decay.  In a moment that seems so long, change occurs in an instant.  Rich green life becomes radiant with color until that life relinquishes its glory and floats away.  No more tangible than time are those thoughts we sense from a distance.  Strong colors evoke a memory or a word that is just out of reach; it is so innate as to be common yet it evades capture.  It always moves too fast.

Have you seen how autumn runs away?  Left behind to wonder how it came so soon yet left so quickly, we stand stunned like mourners at the bed of an absent loved one with concealed fury that whips and breaks the air around us.  Violent air in a space restrained by decorum.  It jerks and twists and threatens – so much bluster for something inexorable.  So much gaudy spectacle for something so timid.  It rarely leaves politely.  It always leaves us here, alone.

Soon this flashy bombast stumbles into exhaustion and rests upon the ground like old footprints.  Glints of frost dance and shimmer in hollows, and brighten dull brown days.  A subdued sun hangs low in a monochromatic sky – just a few colors will be used to paint this season.  We will paint it slowly at first, with faint detail and subtle hues.  We will paint it into that recessed spot and hold it at a distance.  How does it look?  Pale, remote – gently laid to rest.

And like those thoughts just out of reach, we know it will be familiar.


Author: dphare2014

Horticulturist, Lead Steward Carkeek Park Demonstration Gardens, Author

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