Beginner's Heart

the author's

the author’s

As a kid, summer was my favourite season. Then spring, as I grew into adulthood. Now, as I age further, it’s autumn.

It’s the only season we have two names for: autumn, and fall, to commemorate the incredible palette of leaves sifting through the honeyed light.

Camus, that existentialist who believed only in the leap of faith, believed in autumn. Believed, apparently, in the ephemeral beauty of dying leaves: Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower, he said. Each leaf’s inner colour begins to glow, as the green of chlorophyll wanes. Such a lovely metaphor for death.

via wikipedia

via wikipedia

A book I love, by Eliott Pattison, a Buddhist author who has spent time in China & Tibet, uses the analogy of the soul (or inner being) as a stone. When held in water, the inner colours & beauty of the stone momentarily shine. What we need to do, Buddhism notes, is polish off the outer dullness that clouds the stone’s brilliance.

That’s part of what I love about autumn — the promise that we will go colourfully into that good night. Scarlet, chartreuse, bitter lemon. My rock feels very dull, but the leaves remind me: it takes time to shine. And I’m okay with that. I’m not really ready for winter yet.

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