Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Autumn's Promise

Autumn has come to the Ozarks.  The trees are donning their bright garb for one last riotous party before the long quiet sleep of winter overtakes them.  Hints of scarlet, bronze, and gold are peppered among the summer green leaves and each day brings a bit more color.  Their annual cousins take up the buff brown of old age, as their time here comes to an end.  The crisp, cool morning air is often overtaken by a lazy afternoon heat, yet there are also cold rainy days that hint of the winter to come.

Hidden among this most flamboyant of going away parties, an unobserved promise is being made.  Seeds are quietly ripening.  Tiny, large, round, mere slivers, hairy, smooth, each carrying with it the assurance that bright Spring will come.  Some, like those of the wildlings in my back yard, cling tenaciously to anything that happens to brush against them.  Others float lightly through the air on shimmering gossamer balloons.  Yet others are brightly cased in food for various animals, ourselves included, a tasty reward for spreading their seeds far and wide.

A Ripe Lemon Cucumber and Seeds
It may seem strange that someone who is less than enthusiastic about gardening would have such a fascination with seeds.  Yet I find myself collecting them as though they were precious gems.  Or perhaps better than gems, for these tiny parcels of life can offer many more of themselves with time and care.  I think it is the potential that I find so attractive.  From a tiny something so apparently dry and lifeless, a whole plant bursts forth with all the determination of life.  It grows, matures, and dies, always leaving behind it's own promises to Spring.

What shall I leave behind?