Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Cruellest Season

Autumn, some people believe, is the cruellest season. Like spring, it is two faced and deceitful, but unlike spring it promises nothing better ahead. It soothes and tempts with warm golden days but deliberately deceives, lulling us into believing that the joyful days of summer are not really gone.

Golden days, Dying Leaves
It lulls us then slaps us unexpectedly with biting winds, cold rain, darker days and the first falls of winter snow. It strips sheltering trees, leaving their naked bones exposed to the wolfish winds of winter.

Autumn’s cruelty is a favour, however. It helps us to understand the importance of change. Its soft and golden moments offer time for reflection and preparation. Winter requires thoughtful preparation for shelter, warmth and how to get life’s basic necessities in weather that is unkind to those who don’t prepare.

It also offers a deep satisfaction not found as easily in other seasons. A satisfaction that comes from knowing all that can be done has been done. That preparation nourishes confidence, and the hope that good preparation will carry us safely to the renewal promised by the distant spring. 

(Coming in two weeks my new book: Smoke Signals: The Native Takeback of North America's Tobacco Industry. Dundurn Press)

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