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Poor Will's Almanack: October 5 -11, 2021

G. Lamar
via Flickr Creative Commons

Poor Will’s Almanack for the first week of Middle Fall, the first week of the Frog and Toad Migration Moon, the third week of the sun in Libra

One afternoon when the air was heavy, humid with low 80s, I walked in the garden so slowly, tired after maybe just a hundred feet, down to the goldenrod and over to the fishpond.

Medication had temporarily taken away my energy, and what only a month or two ago had seemed like such a small yard that day was immense and daunting.

The flowers, once too close, now seemed so far apart. The orange canna lilies, mixed with the yellow and magenta zinnias, were almost too bright in the three-o’clock sun. The hardy thin-leafed coneflowers were so vital and defiant they put me on my guard. The purple phlox, unimposing yesterday, glowed with might, mocking my pale gait.

When I finally reached the pond and sat down exhausted on the bench, the koi rushed to meet me, and I laughed as I once again witnessed their apparent joy and liveliness at my arrival. They splashed and swirled and slithered over one another, sucking at the water in hopes of being fed.

The exuberance of the fish never fails to revive me. That day it relieved the discouragement I felt at my fatigue and the sudden diminution of my horizon. In their wake, I told myself, I could face the vast new garden. The broad world had simply come here to this miniature habitat, space adapting to fit my need.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of Middle Fall. In the meantime, be of good cheer. As your horizon shrinks, so may your expectations.

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Bill Felker has been writing nature columns and almanacs for regional and national publications since 1984. His Poor Will’s Almanack has appeared as an annual publication since 2003. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year.