What We Can Learn from the Autumn Garden

The autumn garden in late afternoon sun.

Spring gardens get the glut of our attention for their buzzing, dripping, luscious display of new life. The bright green of new leaves bursting from buds and the many-colored petals surround us, echoing bird songs and the scratching of other newborn tree-dwellers scampering up the bark and home. It’s intoxicatingly merry, the gardens of spring… and yet, the garden of abundance is the autumn garden.

A garden in Autumn is equally full of life, only the colors are more bold and deep, and the petals of many flowers and leaves are tougher (such is what the weather inspires).

I appreciate the grand dame patches of purple that bloom in the chill of October. Under the hard but brilliant sun of this season wild roses still bloom to the pleasure of bees, all as the leaves turn brown overhead and begin to fall. They are crushed underfoot, kicked up in passing, or tossed about in play, and all but totally rejoined with the earth they all came from. The process of decay itself is solemn, but there is life in it, because we people revel in it amidst the abundance of every harvest season. Our blessings ease us into certain kinds of endings.

It seems to me that if we spend enough time watching the quiet wild things of the earth turn with the weather as we enjoy our harvest, we may know better how to live well in the face of changing seasons, both the external of the crimson leaf and the early fiddlehead, and those which occur in our own lives.

We must delight in the rainbow blooms of tulips in April and revere the wild rose of October, for it teaches us about keeping our face to the sun and staying open to what beauty the world holds as the air grows colder. Admire the ripe rose hips, the hardy goldenrod, and the colors of the leaves, all so gracefully dancing with death, for it is in those quiet moments that life seems most precious.

So much green!
The sun in autumm is stronger for the hours we miss of it.
The many colors of October …
The wild roses in their second bloom of the year. Tough and ancient masters of surviving beautifully.
The warm glow of the green all around under the sun is magical.

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