Gulls resemble some people I know, always sure of themselves, ready to grab whatever they run into as if they own it, smugly aloof from everything else happening around them.  This one has commandeered a perch on a dory in the tide and would probably attack me if I tried to drive it off.  Or, just as likely, say “The Hell with it,” and fly off without regret.

Some days I too feel completely detached from social reality.  The world of culture and what people care about seems to have passed me by.  The busy little lives of people doing necessary things at work is a closed book, and sometimes I have a sense of worthlessness.  But my native arrogance and optimism usually conquers all shortly after, and like this bird I commandeer what I want and decide I don’t desire what I can’t have anyway.  And stare off into space, in my own little spacetime bubble, happy as a _ gull.

Bittersweet _ the name of these orange berries on a weedy vine often covering waterfront fences _ and also an apt description of the lingering echoes of a season past.  Oh sure, the real equinox is not for a few weeks, but somehow the mood is fully turned.  Sweaters and jackets out of storage, shorts and bathing suits washed and ready to put away.

Bittersweet, too, the haunting songs written about September and the autumn of our days and summer loves lost and fond vacation memories only preserved in pictures and wetware.  It’s one of the loveliest months in the most lovely of seasons, and yet its overriding general impression is always one of transition.  At least here, in this time and place, and at my age and situation.

If these Korean Dogwood fruits were just a little larger, you could swing them around and hit people on the head like in the old days.  Within their own scale, they look pretty formidable.   Perhaps elves use them at night for whatever elves do.

There is so much to see in the wide world before us that we often miss great chunks of what is close at hand.  Folks come here all the time and are enraptured by the wide expanse of lawn, the distant views of Connecticut, the crumbling Gothic boathouse on the brilliant blue harbor.  I doubt anyone comes to this tiny forgotten corner and asks “what the heck are those things?”  I take that back.  No doubt a few children, in their innocent wisdom, do so all the time.  I try to keep their frame of mind when I can.



A hint of dramatic skies to come, as increasingly savage weather fronts battle it out for autumn supremacy.  One of the problems with trying to completely attune with nature is that I can let me moods swing a little too much with sun or rain or cold or heat.  Any mood I wish to place on my environment is, of course, simply an anthropomorphic projection of my inner state _ completely under my control and having nothing at all to do with clouds or lack of same.
I used to think that the ubiquitous utility poles and lines stretching everywhere would be the hallmark of our civilization’s records _ anyone looking at a photo can immediately date it almost to the decade based on how the wires look.  But now I realize that the real marker is probably flat photographs themselves.  In two centuries we seem to have gone from not knowing how to make automatic flat images to moving beyond them into three dimensional holograms and virtual reality. 


Wild asters overlooking the park la
wn at the old Brown’s pottery factory site.  One of those charming little forgotten spots tucked away all over New England, happily put in the public domain by some civic minded folks in the past.  Not really enough money to fix it up properly, surely underused, and yet a very welcome breathing space compared to heavily frequented more well known areas.

My generation’s legacy to the planet is in more doubt.  Of course, everything is more complex, it is not enough to stop pollution in the water and air, try to preserve fish stocks with quota, and have some awareness of the damage humans are doing to the ecology.  For all that, the world is definitely in worse shape than we found it as babies.  Yet, of course, that is a collective we, and little actualities like parks are rather done by individuals or small civic-minded groups.  I’m as confused as everyone else as to what I, as a person, could be doing better that would actually make a difference to generations to come (if, in fact, there are any.)

Some of the changes are still subtle _ the grass is gradually turning yellow and brown, for example.  It will eventually get a range of hues, from top to bottom, that almost exactly indicate exactly what week it is.  But _ not much from day to day.  That is the trap, of course.

It is tempting to worry about what is to come, or lament what is gone, and somehow ignore how fine it all is right now.  September was traditional harvest season in a farm economy, when you found out how well or badly you had done and would be fed for a while.  It was the start of incredible business as crops were picked and stored and preparations made for the winter and coming spring.  There was no time for reflection or even planning.  But here we are _ harvest is always down the block at the supermarket, and preparations for winter tend to be limited to getting the snow blower to start.  With nothing really focused on the season it has drifted into a kind of holiday prelude _ which is completely silly.    September is truly one of the wonderful months around here, yet I must often force myself not to waste these precious days.

Trees that turn this brown might be prematurely dropping leaves from light change, or drought, or disease, or any combination.   It may be hard to believe this one will make it back next spring, yet they often do.  Nature, however, makes sure that all the energy possible for this particular year has gone into the all-important seed production.  The cruel fact is that individuals _ like me and you and this tree _ do not matter at all to our great Mother, any more than they do to our universal Father the cosmos. 
But the amazing fact is that you and I matter to ourselves and each other.  It’s absolutely astounding that we can be ourselves and yet still survive and not only make it from day to day, but enjoy our moments and celebrate the wonder of being.  Some claim that must come from a spiritual element beyond nature and the cosmos, some claim that we ourselves are that spiritual element, but there is absolutely no doubt that we are more than mere nature and cosmos.  Hello there _ welcome to this moment!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s