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Poor Will's Almanack: October 15 - 21, 2019

fall leaves
Jay Joslin
/
Flickr Creative Commons

The canopy of leaves appeared solid throughout the hot summer, its entire nature dense and uniform, its shade thick and deep. Within a few days, that canopy will shatter deep into the jug of autumn. That jug, that earthen container takes it all.

Everything from the whole year past goes into the jug of October. Events and objects get mixed up in the tumble. The smooth wall of June is torn apart. The heat of July and August is filtered and cooled. All of the long green horizon crumbles.

The best sense of what we are in this place dissolves.

Any meaning that an observer might have associated with the middle of the year is recast. The change of appearance is the change of essence. The undoing of the trees and flowers tips the full glass of summer to empty, pours out old and familiar landmarks and gauges and pointers all at once.

Untied by equinox, the contents of October’s jug have no geography recognizable from August. Nothing looks the way it used to look. The inner space has come apart beside the visible outer space, and it seems there is nothing I can do until the container is filled with leaves and frost and snow, and then with the promise of spring

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the third week of Middle Fall. In the meantime,  dig deep into the leaves. Underneath is spring.

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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.