The columns and writings of
Peggy L. Elliott
"" The Season of Change

There are the first hints of changing colors in the trees beyond my windows; whispered tints of yellow and burnished orange which will soon turn to bright and raucous shouts. A grand finale, an awesome farewell to the summer swiftly passing on.

Our daylight now falls filtered, as the careening planet upon which we claim so precarious a hold, shifts, granting those long in the paleness of winter their share of light. It is a just and fair system, for all living things need to take this rest.

The seasons of light are a stressful time, with only so many days, so many hours in which to grow and multiply, thrive and prosper, fill our lungs and lives with the softness of the sun-kissed breezes. Too soon they are only memories, mental snapshots we mount in a cranial scrapbook and put away for the year. Much is expected in such a short space of time.

Come the first brush of chill the defenses are mounted. The leaves are dropped from limbs gone dormant. Squirrels gather their favorite seeds and bury them, stored safely for their future needs. In the depths of winter they will recall the location of some, while leaving the rest to awaken come spring, growing into slim young tree sprouts, future grand oaks and splendid maples. We humans chop and stack wood, mount our storm doors and windows, have our furnaces checked for those soon to be frozen days.

These are the simple and normal responses to the call of the autumn-laden winds. The flow of each season into the next is a constant cycle in the natural world which not only sustains us, but challenges our senses and will to survive.

Such are the promises nature faithfully fulfills. We know, regardless the circumstances we humans create around ourselves - the violence, the rage, the insanity - the march of the seasons will continue on, a reminder that we are part of something far, far larger than our human bodies, more powerful than our human minds.

Sometimes I wonder if we have not been awarded too much for which we have too little respect. Why have we been granted such a large capacity for intellect, only to squander that small percentage of this capacity we use? Is it not our duty to employ our larger brains in the most guarded and thoughtful manner and not putting ourselves - and all other life - at risk? If we don't honor our place in the natural world, we will no longer be blessed with a presence within this place.

As this approaching change of seasons slowly flows over the living on this earth, we who dwell in this spot on the face of the northern hemisphere, have found our lives altered by the deadly conflicts we humans inflict upon ourselves. Of course conflict exists in the natural world - hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, all challenge our skills and determination to survive. But the bombs, missiles and other weapons forged and stockpiled for the sole purpose of attacking and annihilating our own human race will never be considered "natural" or appropriate.

The passing of this summer into fall will mark a year of national mourning, a year in which we've witnessed the passing of this country's misguided sense of security into the reality of our naive vulnerability. Let's pray this coming wintertime, a season of quiet retrospection for all living things, will bring with it the wisdom and peace we so desperately need. And when at last spring opens the sleeping eyes of the land, may we, too, awaken to a new season of hope, blessed with a stronger resolve to respect the gift we and all creatures have been granted: Life.

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© Peggy L. Elliott 2006