Sunday, September 21, 2014

Celebrating the Seasons - The Autumn Equinox

   The plants know it, the birds and animals certainly sense it, we have reached the tipping point.  Today there is an equal amount of light and dark but tomorrow the darkness begins to take over.  Slowly, but surely, the days will get shorter and shorter.

   We celebrate September 21st as the first day of Autumn but the ancient Celts thought it the half way point between autumn and winter.

   As a contemplative photographer, this is the day to take to the woods and begin observing the transformations that are well under way.  It is a time to let all your senses guide you and here in Maine my nose leads the way.

   There is a decided smell to autumn and on a warm late September day it is particularly noticeable.  Indian Summer, a period of warmth after the first frost, can trigger all sorts of delicious the old grape vine near my well.  It has a distinct and delicious smell.  So do the leaves and the smell of wood smoke as we light our first fires of the season.

"The breezes taste
Of apple peel.
The air is full
Of smells to feel-
Ripe fruit, old footballs,
Burning brush,
New books, erasers,
Chalk, and such.
The bee, his hive,
Well-honeyed hum,
And Mother cuts
Like plates washed clean
With suds, the days
Are polished with
A morning haze.
-   John Updike, September

   So take all your senses, your camera and your journal for a woodland walk this week.  Celebrate the season of in-turning and letting go. 

  What wisdom waits for you during these days of contrast when all that has gone before is fallen at  your feet?  And for those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, what new signs of life are emerging?  What are your particular smells of spring?


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