The winds have stripped the last leaves from the aspen trees around my cabin. Most of the willows are bare, and the grasses are all brown, although the patch in front of my cabin still has some green in the center, as if the cold was munching in from the two ends. In just a week, the landscape has gone from colorful to somber.
This is change that I must accept, and there is something right about the predictability of the weather turning, especially in this time of climate change. The days gets shorter, the vegetation lays down for winter, and the animals prepare, each in its own way, for a time of deprivation. Any day the snow will come, and the great cycle of life, of death and renewal will continue.
There’s something comforting about the predictability and surety of the seasons turning when everything else in the world seems to have been turned upside down: the economy, the weather patterns, our ability to be civil to each other. Around the world, record rains destroy cities and the countryside, people who once led comfortable lives are facing homelessness, the glaciers are melting, and more forests disappear every day.
And yet, as the earth continues its orbit around the sun, the last leaf blows from the aspens, the last hummingbird has long departed for warmer climates, and the black bears, chipmunks and ground squirrels are ready to hibernate for the winter.
For better or worse, the cycle continues.