Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Brief Balance of Light and Dark

Today is the autumnal equinox. The light of daytime and the dark of nighttime are balanced for a brief moment, with the dark poised to take the lead for the next 6 months.

And so the seasons pass.

I can feel the changes in the natural world outside. Although the temperatures are still summer-like, there is a sense of winding down. The daily locust chorus is growing quieter by the day. Trees are starting to lose their leaves, the monarchs are beginning to aim southward in their daily flights, and it's suddenly rare to find a germinating plant. The sunflowers are past their prime; each morning when I walk, I see a few more brown, rayless disks and a few less bright yellow, fresh blooms.

Everytime I go outdoors for the next few months, the increasingly less subtle message will be, "Winter will be here soon." The summer birds will be leaving, and the winter birds will be arriving. Green will be disappearing as the fall colors, and eventually winter brown, predominate. The temperatures will finally break, and cold autumn winds and rain begin.

Despite the foreshadowing of hard times ahead, I've always loved the fall, with its cool, crisp air and bright blue days. It's an invigorating time of year, with rich harvests yet a promise of quiet winter reflection.

I'm beginning to feel a correlation between this season and my time of life. Springtime is behind me. Summer is disappearing too. Now my life is full of rich harvests that are beginning to lead me towards quiet reflection. Family, friends, experiences, interests, memories - a potpourri of patches that I'm feeling the urge to stitch together into a velvety, idiosyncratic crazy quilt I can share with others. Hopefully it will help keep them warm during the cold times that return with seasonal regularity.

I know it will help me find the pattern to my days.

Light and dark, balanced.

And so the cycle of life goes on.

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