The seasons converge in Autumn; Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall. September, October, November and December come together. Snow, sunshine, birth and death happen. The wind blows, or doesn’t blow, and what we know for sure is that which we don’t know, in the face of uncertainty. We feel sadness, happiness, hope and despair. One is irrelevant, without the other.
On the trail flowers and ferns testify to the delicate balance of nature throughout the seasons. A wild flower may appear along the path by itself, or you might find it flourishing in bunches. The lone flower may not return the next year, allowing only one chance to appreciate it in the moment.
In the photo you will see a New England Aster. Its deep purple color stands out against the reds and browns of the October landscape.
“New Clothes and Old Clothes” from “The New Book of Days” by Eleanor Farjeon, captures the way I feel about old clothes. There are some pieces of clothing I really love and can’t part with. I may or may not wear them, but keep them for their colors, the feel of the fabric, or some memory attached to an event or time. It may be something I wore over and over again – the threads so bare, the collar so frayed. The intangibility of the passing of that time is what matters most to me.
Eleanor says, “In May, older clothes are kinder to you then new ones.”
I rather like New Clothes,
They make me feel so fine,
Yet, I am not quite Me,
The clothes are not quite mine.
I really love Old Clothes,
They make me feel so free,
I know that they are mine,
For I feel just like Me.
Before it goes out like a lamb, it’s time to talk about the month of March. Looking back in history we’ll remember this month, in 2020, as the time when the Coronavirus grew exponentially in the U.S.A. Not that we weren’t forewarned, by the explosion taking place in Europe, preceded by China, and Iran, etc., etc.. in previous weeks. Covid-19’s here to stay for a long time; forty five days until we see a peak, eighteen months before life goes back to normal, if it ever does. In the long haul a positive outcome to this situation can be found within ourselves; find ways to beat it psychologically, remain optimistic, and use it to be more creative and productive in our personal lives. Take up painting, the piano, reading novels, writing as much as we can. How can we reach out, and help others, and bring them into our lives? What special talents do we have that we can share? There are certainly people living in a more precarious habitat, in which I’m living. Selfishly I hope I don’t catch the virus, or be a carrier and less selfishly, pass it on to someone else. So, where do we go from here? The answer seems to be nowhere, nothing versus something, and now being never. What is true is we are all vulnerable. No-one is exempt.
Back to March. What do we know about this third month of the calendar year, which during Roman Times was the first, and not the third of the year? A month named after the god of war, called Mars. Special days in particular yearn to be celebrated. Such as St. Patrick’s day, on the 17th, especially by the Irish, but even if you haven’t an ounce of Irish in your blood, you’re always welcome to partake in Irish generosity.
On the 15th of March, back in Roman Times, an old woman warned Julius Caesar, “Beware the Ides of March.” Against his wife’s best wishes Caesar ignored the oracle and ventured out into the Roman forum only to be assassinated, and find moments before he fell to his death that his best friend had betrayed him; thus the famous quote “Et tu Brutus?” The circumstance is a reminder to follow the wisdom of Shakespeare spoken in one of his plays “Love all, trust a few, and do wrong to no-one.” And, in the wake of the Corona19, to listen to the oracle; Stay home, protect yourselves, and others.
Since I am a curious person, who seeks novelty in all things possible to brush away the the sins of idleness, and boredom, I have a trivia fact for March. Does anyone know what September, October, November and December stand for? I found this out the other day through a post by the Farmer’s Almanac. The meaning of the prefixes of these months in latin follow suit with March being the first month of the year, for Sept means seven, Octo, eight, Nove, nine, and Dece, ten. So whatever happened to January and February? There is an answer, but at this moment, I can only say; “I do not know it.” Just like there are answers surrounding the mysteries of the Coronavirus, but for now uncertainty reigns, and only time will tell.
Four years ago today, February 8th, of 2016, out in a storm with my niece and nephew, Virginia and Diego Bravo, we came upon a sanctuary of crystal. The land was enveloped in snow. For my friends, being in a snowstorm was an exhilarating experience, and for me too, but something special for them, because they come from a place where there are no storms, such as this. I wrote on that day:
Wonderland! A small lake on the trail of Mansfield Hollow Dam. Went out in the middle of the snowstorm. We could hear the sound of branches breaking off the trees, and saw them falling, to the ground. We were wary of what might fall on us, from above. Manna, maybe.
Gray and cloudy too.
The sun is waiting to appear.
Out of the shade
And from the dew.
By me, T.C.
December was the last month of the old Roman year which was divided into ten months. The Saxons called it ‘winter-monat’ or winter month, and ‘heligh-monat,’ or holy month,
‘In December keep yourself warm and sleep.’
“The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady” by Edith Holden
TIME WAS SLIPPING AWAY
It was daylights savings time, and I was up at 6. Jumped into my clothes, and grabbed a cup of coffee. I walked outside. The light was still dim. Water in the birdbath was frozen. Out in the meadow, across the way, goldenrod, and Queen Anne’s Lace, were all covered with frost. I lost myself, in the simple beauty of the colors, textures, hues, and nuances, of shriveling up, dried plants, refusing to die. I saw the complexity of the scene, and realized that time was slipping away.
September is gone. October, begun. The first day of each month is like beginning anew. Turning a new leaf, strumming a new song. I read a poem, by a poet named Wordsworth, today. Quite outdated, but not really. The lines in one of his poems rang a bell, for me. He wrote,
Up the brook
I roamed in the confusion of my heart,
Alive to all things and forgetting all.
… I gazed and gazed, and to myself
I said, ‘Our thoughts at least are ours.
Wordsworth, from “Poems on the Naming of Places”
‘The confusion of my heart, alive to all, forgetting all. “Our thoughts at least are ours”,’ describe the freedom I feel outdoors, and it dawned on me, why it is that I love rivers, streams, lakes, and the sound of water, so. In places like these, I meditate, without even knowing, and feel at peace. Out there, I am not alone.