This sapling grows out of an old concrete pipe in my backyard and every year it offers a glorious reminder of the revolving seasons. Living in a place where seasons mark the wilderness leaves me sensitive to the passage of time. I wonder if in climes where changes are more subtle, the inhabitants feel suspended, timeless, the days stretching onward without end.
I love blankets of blue, moonlit snow, the contrast of newly unfurled leaves against the black, rain-soaked bark of Oregon. And I’m always ravenous for the summer’s return of the sun. But autumn, in the northern states where I’ve always lived, is a time of great beauty, a time for road trips for the sole purpose of watching the leaves die.
I don’t mean to sound morbid – after all spring’s rebirth is the promise dormant in autumn’s retreat. But there’s something poignant about these revolutions, a reminder to me that my time is indeed limited and not to be wasted.
A couple years ago, I dreamed this poem. I offer it up again, word for word, as it came to me in my sleep.