However maybe the explanation I didn’t really feel unhappy concerning the onset of fall after I was youthful is simply that I used to be youthful, with my entire life nonetheless forward. In these days my solely fear was that my actual life, the one I might select for myself and reside by myself phrases, was taking too lengthy to reach. Now I perceive that each day I’m given is as actual as life will ever get. Now I perceive that we’re assured nothing, that our days are all the time working out. That they’ve all the time, all the time been working out.
And so I greet this attractive season with a quiet and a stillness I by no means felt after I was youthful and in such a rush. I used to snort on the comical shabbiness of the bluebirds in molt, so fussy with each other as their new feathers are available in. Now I do know it received’t be lengthy earlier than these fledglings, whom I’ve identified since their mom laid the eggs they got here from, shall be off of their attractive grownup blues to seek for their very own territories. The hummingbirds, too, are waging conflict over my feeder, placing on weight for his or her journey, and one morning quickly I’ll get up to seek out them gone with the daybreak. I’m all the time so sorry to see them go.
The little spider, one of many orb weavers, who pitched her camp subsequent to my outside faucet this summer season is making her egg sacs now. She too shall be gone by the point chilly climate arrives, however in contrast to the hummingbirds, she is not going to be coming again. Her future lies within the good egg sacs she has strung collectively like pearls and hung within the middle of her elaborate internet — six of them now, with extra to come back, I believe.
The reward of the equinox, the day on which there are as many hours of sunshine as of darkness, is the reward of Janus. Trying behind and earlier than without delay, her imaginative and prescient is extra acceptable to September than to January. So I’m wanting forward, too, at the same time as I look behind — because the birds fly south and my summer companion, the broadhead skink, finds a darkish place to spend the winter. I’ll look ahead to her to wake subsequent spring, simply as I’ll look ahead to the warblers and the hummingbirds to return, simply as I’ll look ahead to this summer season’s seeds, carried on the winds of autumn and within the bellies of birds, to push up from the earth and bloom once more.
And all winter I’ll maintain watch over the little spider’s egg sacs, hoping that one in every of her daughters chooses this quiet spot for her personal internet. It’s a very good place to settle in — damp and shady, a respite from the tough gentle of summer season.
Margaret Renkl is a contributing opinion author who covers flora, fauna, politics and tradition within the American South. She is the creator of the guide “Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss.”
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