Seasons of change….
The hills are a beautiful place to be in autumn….trees put on their stunning parade of gorgeous colours as the nights grow colder and snakes of grey smoke from wood heaters spiral up and link chimneys to clouds, heavy with fat droplets of rain. The first blush of colour spreads down through the branches and leaves change from green to an amazing array of yellows, ambers, rusts, reds and oranges. Small gusts of wind pick up fallen leaves and dance them, swirling and twisting, end over end, until they float down and settle. Creeks gurgle and come to life as their stony beds disappear under fresh, cold water numbing fingers trying to float boats of sticks and leaves.
As autumn gives way to winter, people hibernate in warm houses and hurry along cold windy streets as icy fingers pluck at their ears and noses. Wood piles are stacked and electric blankets turned on as the temperature drops and the wind rattles at windows and sneaks through barely there crevices to play its whispery coldness along the back of your neck. Trees are bare, their branches naked and lifeless with only the occasional abandoned bird nest to adorn them. Rain becomes a common occurrence falling from dark, angry clouds in a grey, bleak sky. Daylight seems to lack colour as dawn and dusk become closer and closer. The cold seeps into bones, chatters teeth and turns lips blue.
Spring brings a visual promise of warmer weather to come….those first blossoms popping open in pinks and whites adorning bare branches like party lights. Tender green leaves start to unfurl and grow as the sun begins to encourage them out. The first hint of colour peeks from closed flower heads and show a promise of blooming to come. Birds pick up the flow of life - singing joyfully as they noisily start preparing eiderdown softened nests for small speckled eggs. Bees get busy as petals loosen and nectar becomes sweet and enticing. Ducklings, fat balls of brown fluff, appear and scurry around after cautious parents. Faces turn to a warming sun and spirits are lifted as lazy afternoons are increasingly enjoyed.
The days lengthen and the sun gets hotter as summer takes its turn at the wheel. Days become lazy as holidays start and the beach becomes a magnet on hot, sweltering afternoons. The blazing sand roasts delicate toes on the journey from towel to sea. Shoulders and cheeks turn an intense red with the promise of a painful, uncomfortable night’s sleep. City buildings and roads radiate heat after the sun retires, keeping the temperature high as people toss and turn in warm, sweaty sheets. Air conditioners hum and clank in an attempt to cool inner spaces and children camp out in lounge rooms in an effort to sleep. In the hills, gully breezes are blessed as windows are flung open and sweet, cool, fresh air is invited inside. Paddocks and grass begin to dry as the relentless heat continues. A harmony of sprinklers play after dark in an attempt to keep gardens alive and green. Relief as nights start to cool and the hint of autumn appears.
Nature’s seasons each have their own beauty and terror but the most amazing thing is that they are all never ending…that ebb and flow of Mother Nature renewing and reinvigorating the earth…..the wheel of life and death. There are many inspirational things we can take from mother earth….just like the seasons.
Autumn could be a time of purge….of letting go of the things that bind us, the negative and the unwanted. A time to reflect on the changes we would like to bring about and a cleansing of the mind and spirit.
Winter would be a time for deep reflection and meditation. Of pruning back the areas of our lives that have become dead wood, turning within and preparing ourselves for the growth of new and invigorating aspects of our lives that we wish to change.
Spring is when the new seeds of change are sown and the transformation begins. Tentative at first but becoming stronger and more confident as we embrace our new mindset and grow our thoughts. Fresh routines become habit as the mind and body settle into newly formed patterns.
Summer would bring time to settle back and bask in our new customs and trains of thought. A time to reflect on how our changes have affected us and whether the alterations had positive connotations. Did our transformation affect those close to us and did our tide of change cause ripples or waves…and was it worth it. And so we would come full circle….ready to once again let go of the things we wish to change or improve.
If you live your life without embracing the possibilities of improvement, without constantly growing and readjusting or without acknowledging that change is needed, then are you really living…or just existing? The mighty oak does not display only half its leaves because it is unaware of its full potential….grow and change…progress and develop…learn….and show your full foliage.