You don't have to understand the world. You just have to find your own way around in it. - Albert Einstein

Monday, 26 March 2012

of Beauty, Death and Autumn

If I ever have cut flowers in a vase, I don't throw them out when they start to droop. I leave them out on display and watch in fascination as the flowers change every day on their way from vibrant life to rotting death. I find every stage of the process exquisitely beautiful, equally beautiful.

How are these images of the flowers from my birthday tea not just as beautiful as when the flowers were fresh and hydrated?



I find it worrying that our society has such an aversion to and distaste for death and all that reminds us of our mortality. I believe that death is every bit as much an honourable and essential force in the web of life as every other stage of life.

I was thrilled to discover a kindred soul in the author of Morbid Anatomy, a blog that celebrates the role of death in our culture and history. I find the images, artworks and themes here stunning, enthralling, mystical and profound.

The Autumn Equinox passed recently, so it was an appropriate time to ponder such mysteries. The weather co-operated with the most delightful mathematical precision. The day of the Equinox was very warm and sunny, the last flush of summer I had been counting on seeing before March was out. So warm that I didn't really want to go out into the sun to walk into town at first, until I considered that it would probably be the last time until the next season. It was perfect and bright and lightly muggy. That night, the night of equal length, balanced between the seasons, the weather changed and we woke up in the morning to cold grey skies and gusty rain.

I took these pictures, and was about to take some more of some dried rosebuds from the last summer, when my camera decided to get in on the spirit of things. The batteries died. Even a machine needs a time of rest.

Autumn is my favourite of the seasons. I thrill to the chill that creeps through the earth, I adore the colours and the light and the sense of relaxation as the earth lets go of its growing burden and settles in for the winter slumber. I feel more at ease, more in tune with the season's cycles, my common state of melancholy feels at home as the year winds down gracefully. The perfect day, for me, is cool and grey and raining. That is when I feel most strongly the urge to go out and walk in nature.

I spoke with my nana on the phone, and we talked about our favourite places for autumn leaves. I love the Parliament Gardens in Hobart. At just the right time of year, there are the most glorious piles of crunchy golden softness to stomp or possibly roll about in. The colours on Mount Wellington as the afternoons stretch into long evenings are a revelation.

Blessings on the turning of the Earth, and the Goddess as she turns toward slumber.

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