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Poor Will's Almanack: November 3 - 9, 2020

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Poor Will’s Almanack for the first week of late fall, the fourth week of the Corn and Soybean Harvest Moon. It is the third week of the Sun in Scorpio.

The more I watch myself in nature, the more I see that my emotional life is tied to appearances more than to events.

A season in my thoughts and in my feelings is the reflection of the things I perceive. The changes in the landscape produce changes in my mind. The Earth’s fluctuating relationship to the Sun may technically cause the advent of winter, but it is the bare trees and the frost that make the season in my head.

Very literally, fragrant peonies and lilacs bring April and May to my brain. Green trees bring June. Lilies bring July. Golden black-eyed Susans bring the middle of August, and the sudden collapse of the sugar maple, white mulberry and ginkgo leaves makes November.

The simplicity of this psychological phenomenon can lead to a basic realism. It means staying in the moment, but it also acknowledges the power of choosing to see what is in front of me in nature and only then to move from that firm foundation out into the sometimes frightening social world beyond.

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of late fall. In the meantime, hold fast to all the changes in nature, finding your own stability there.

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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.