Posts tagged ‘Autumn’

November 2, 2012

Autumn

Autumn is a time of mixed emotions. Perhaps the American term ‘Fall’ is more appropriate; we witness the death of summer, multiple hues of green, life, growth, hope and future are cut short, greens become browns, life becomes death.  Growth is halted, cut short, heat gives way to coldness, the sun lowers its arc across the sky, the light changes becoming more silvery and less intense, shadows become longer, the sweet scents and smells of summer give way to dank and damp, moss and mould.

And yet there is a glory to it all. Perhaps it is rather a sleep than a death. Nature is shedding her skin, her demise only skin deep, yet the resurrection of spring none the less impressive in the burst of new life that arises out of the ashes of winter.

Photographs are stories and these mobile phone snaps like sketches on the page, giving a glimpse of that great saga of the seasons we inhabit year by year our whole life long.

Yet the Autumn chapter in the book-of-the-seasons story is surely a God-given reflection or analogy of that greatest story of all; a tale of a birth like no other, life in all its fullness, a death that was beyond darkness and of a resurrection and spring of new hope that would point us to the glorious future of the summer to come that lies beyond the shores of this life in a greater country and place, where there shall be no more pain, death or dying but only the fullness of joy in the presence of our Lord and Saviour, Master and Friend:

Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening into the house and gate of heaven to enter into that gate and dwell in that house, where there shall be no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light; no noise nor silence, but one equal music; no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession; no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity; in the habitations of thy glory and dominion, world without end.

A Prayer of John Donne (1572-1631)

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October 18, 2011

October

Autumn at Muckross House, Killarney

October and the trees are stripped bare
Of all they wear.
What do I care?

October and kingdoms rise
And kingdoms fall
But you go on
And on.

The words of this beautiful song by U2 (link) have been going around my mind these past few days.  The wind is blowing autumn leaves across roads and fields, the air is getting cooler and we await the onset of winter.

But why does Bono say ‘what do I care?’  I’m no expert on U2 lyrics, look to Steve Stockman for that, but as I read the words they speak to me of a God who is constant and unchanging and who is steadfast through time.  Our seasons come and go, countries rise and fall in importance, we are born, we live and we die but through it all God goes on and on.  Perhaps in seeing and understanding this, Bono develops a sense of the eternal – and maybe the ups and downs of this life only find their true meaning in the context of eternity…

September 13, 2010

Faded Glory

Faded Beauty

I suppose we don’t need any reminder that Summer has now reluctantly begun to make way for Autumn.  All around, the leaves are beginning to change colour, many flowers parade their final encore and the sounds are those of finality (for this year at least); the swan song is in the air.

I came across this butterfly whilst recovering a rugby ball from a flower bed.  Like the autumn leaves, its wings are fading; once glorious colours are now only shades of brown.  Yet it is still beautiful.

Having helped with a couple of funerals recently, the words of the old funeral service (which is seldom used now) came to mind:

Man that is born of woman hath but a short time to live … He cometh up, and is cut down, like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow, and never continueth in one stay.  

A little bleak perhaps, but a stark reminder of not only the fragility of life but its transience also.  Not only we but all of Creation are in an inevitable Autumn, waiting patiently for that eternal Spring to come…

February 9, 2010

Out of Season

Olympus OM-1, G.Zuiko 50mm f1.4, Fujifilm Sensia 100

The postman delivered some slides yesterday of pictures that I took last October (I only got round to posting them a couple of weeks ago). Included were a few autumnal shots and one that mad me sad, a picture of our cat ‘Sticky’ (along with ‘Charlie’ the kitten) taken just a couple of days before he died.

Olympus OM-1, G.Zuiko 50mm f1.4, Fujifilm Sensia 100

It’s funny how pictures bring back to life old memories. The moment you press the shutter release a moment in time is forever captured – for better or worse. I was speaking with someone who lost their elderly mother recently and of the emotions that looking at old pictures brought. There is something uniquely special at looking at pictures of old family members, your parents or grandparents when they were children. Moments in time captured on a thin square of film.

Olympus OM-1, G.Zuiko 50mm f1.4, Fujifilm Sensia 100

What photos that we have taken will be looked at by our decedents in a hundred years from now…?

September 23, 2009

Putting down roots

Nikon D70s, f10, 1/16 sec, ISO 200, 28mm equivalent (click to enlarge)

Our favourite tree is one that we grew from an acorn brought back by my stepfather from Canada. It is a Red Oak or Quercus Rubra (please feel free to correct me on that one). We planted it first of all in a small pot and it has graduated every couple of years to increasingly larger pots as it slowly but surely matured. Now we have it in an old wooden barrel that’s been sawn in two (the kind you find in any garden centre). I doubt we could find a bigger pot so it is going to have to be planted soon.

Here’s the thing. When it’s planted that is it, no more moving. It will literally put down its roots until the day eventually comes (hopefully several generations in the future) when a storm, or disease or a need for it to be chopped down comes. What will the world be like then?! The tree has moved as we have moved house and in the same way that it has only partially put down roots so have we, settling but always in the knowledge that it will not be permanent, that the time will come, don’t know when, but it will come that we shall be on the move again.

One of our dreams is to have our own place, a small cottage somewhere to escape to. I would be happy to plant our tree there…

September 24, 2008

Hanging on to the Summer…

Nikon D70s, 50mm, ISO 200, 1/125 sec, f8. (Click to enlarge)

Even though the Buddleia is way past its best, this Peacock Butterfly doesn’t mind. In order to get this close to take a photo I had to improvise by sellotaping a magnifying glass to the front of the lens! Most were blurred, but this one came out alright…