profligate beauty

“Nature is, above all, profligate.  Don’t believe them when they tell you how economical and thrifty nature is, whose leaves return to the soil.  Wouldn’t it be cheaper to leave them on the tree in the first place?”

— Annie Dillard

Yes, perhaps.  I can see both sides of the argument here.  Certainly there’s a waste-not-want-not philosophy in motion here in the Victory Garden.  But everywhere you look in this harvest season there is evidence that nature is fundamentally generous, wild and unrestrained and pleased to shower all creatures with abundance.

I must admit to a little sadness when I see plants withering or looking unhappy in the cold mornings, and more than a twinge of sadness when I yank up a plant that is dead or on its way there, sick or underperforming.

Also, if I’m honest, autumn is not my favorite season.  I know if I were a more deep and poetic soul, I would thrill to the new chill in the air and the evidence of the turning over of a great cyclical leaf.  But spring and summer are more my style.  Besides, I dread the dark time of winter.

But I’m comforting myself now as I always comfort myself:  by observing the details, by living deeply invested in the moment.  In the last few days, it’s the leaves that have been drawing me in for a closer look, with their fascinating and endlessly unique patterns.

I’m still keeping up with Capturing Beauty, by the way, and this month’s challenge is to document the changes we see at this seasonal fulcrum of the year.  There is plenty to capture already, and the leaves have barely begun to change color at all here in South Carolina.

This is a dying leaf of one of the cardinal climber vines, preparing to drop.

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2 Responses to “profligate beauty”

  1. Be kind to yourself – I hope everything is better soon…

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