Monday, 2 September 2013

September In Ottawa

It is September; autumn is nearly upon us. Meteorologists say that our summer here in Canada is, in actuality, earlier to start and earlier to finish than the solstice and equinox would suggest, starting in early June and ending in early September. Certainly the crisp mornings with a hint of frost potential, the first of the golden leaves on the trees and the cool of even the sunniest days suggests that the season of short pants and long days is winding down.

We are moving towards the time of year when young men will stare longingly at young women in overcoats, imaging the summer skirt beneath; where women will wonder what that self-same young man looks like in the crisp shirt that surely must be beneath that puffy jacket. We are moving to the days when coffee is taken indoors rather than out on the patio[ indoors where the air conditioner is now a heater and the condensation forms on the windows, providing a moist screen of grey to hide the chill on the sidewalk, and where the conversation turns from hopes for a nice day at the beach to hopes for a good day on the snowmobile or at the ski slopes. We are moving to the days when people on the streets scurry from warmth to warmth instead of strolling leisurely in the glow of the sun.

There is still humidity in the air and the temperatures will still, on a day here and there, exceed 20 degrees Celsius. It is the softening of the light through the easy green of the untinged trees just whispering at the hint of change, the later start to the mornings and the noticeably early start to the evenings that tells the true tale, provides the real story of the finish of this season. As I sit here, looking out the window from the studio where I am staying at a friend's place here in Ottawa, I see the trees down the roadway with their variegated hews of green, yet each of them, save for the evergreens always present in this country, has just the edge of gold, just the slightest feel of yellow and red. Each day now that colour of fall will become more obvious, more visible for all to see.

We take joy in the passage of the seasons, in the inevitable rhythm and flow of life. Well, most of us do. Some of us see these changes and refocus them from their image of natural, cyclical progression into a story of our own existence. Those of us who know the signs of our passing summer note this same change all round us, see this subtle shift from life to death as a mirror, showing us a reflection of what we must all face. For some of us, the change of season reminds us.

Still in all, there is life here; there is, even in the coldest heart of the shortest day, life to be found. Still in all, there is no real death in this Gaia of our existence; it is simply a transition from one place to another, from one type of existence to another. The matter, the atoms of our corporeal selves, will change into something else. It may be that we simply die, yet even in death we become something else. Life is persistent. Autumn will turn to winter, winter will turn to spring. If I am here or not, this will happen. Then, some day, perhaps this will not even happen. Yet still, in some form, in some way, in some atomic structure, as the seasons change, I will be there too.

1 comment:

  1. You are always here for me until I am no longer here.
    love you