Sunday 25 Sep 2016

Seasonal Musings
M Alan Roberts

As the leaves change hues and the winds grow cooler each passing night, I know full well that autumn is here - winter on the way soon. I witness the animals which densely populate my environment every day, as they make their preparations for the coming cold. The squirrels are storing food - as are most species. Even the insects and spiders are acting differently as the days pass - hunkering down in, what seems to me like, a welcoming to death.

Chicken Truck, Chicken Truck, the world's super-coolest Rhode Island Red rooster has feathers that are thickening - and he has been eating like a pig lately. Buckethead, my Pit-Lab puppy, and loyal friend, is growing his fur coat too, to embrace the season's fluctuations. This will be his first winter. It's always fun to watch a puppy in its first snow - freaks em out. If he is like a lot of Labs, he will perform what I call the 'snowplow' - sticking the nose of his bucket-shaped head under the snow and cruising at full speed forward - spraying snow out to both sides.

As for me, I have my supply of fire wood built up and drying in the remaining sunny days. It's always comforting to have a small fire on a cold day - puts us back in touch with the elements of our psyches left over from the long-passed past. Deer hunting season has just begun within the past week. I am not a hunter - not that hungry - and I cringe every time I hear a gunshot. In my mind, I see another wounded, not clean-killed, deer running until it falls - and then the tracking hunter approaching to finish it off. I always hope they actually eat what they kill. I guess that makes it better somehow.

With the weather changes comes the holidays - my favorite, Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas, then New Year's Day. The holidays bring so much stress to people, especially the poor. It hurts to not be able to give because you're broke. Sure, you can give something you make, or already own, but it really is not the thought that counts for most people. They always dig cash more. I always watch the shoppers in their maddened frenzies as they attempt to deal with their holiday anxieties. Whatever happened to just gifting a nice jug of that special-recipe eggnog? That works just fine for this backwoods writer!

With autumn and winter also comes a stilling of life in general. People tend to stay indoors more - fattening themselves with rich foods and idleness while every other animal thins down - patiently awaiting the warmth and new life of spring. Even the water slows and sometimes freezes over. It is calming and tranquil to experience - if you take the intentional time to soak it all in.

And so another year completes itself - the cycle of life continuing. What we learned this year becomes a part of us - individually and as a planetary society. While the political and economic climates change across countries, the overall picture of life will repeat; we will again be elated with the arrival of spring, and anticipate the heat of the hot days of summer. As the Buddha says, take joy in your moments and live in the present only. Each moment is precious - another chance to develop - another opportunity to spread hope and decency - to embrace compassion.

As I look out my writing window today, I see the leaves falling and blowing - their colors brightening my life and mood. I appreciate the time that I am giving to reflect and to contemplate the perplexities of life - always remembering, of course, that most things are quite simplistic at their roots. Enjoy your seasonal changes, grubstreeters. Enjoy your every day like it will be your last.

Take the time to spread love - to yourself first and to everyone else as well. And take a sip of eggnog for me.

M Alan Roberts is a radical thinker. He has a gimlet eye for injustice, much as did Frederich Engels, a century and a half before. Still, Roberts finds a way to write effective SEO copy. This suggests both sides of his brain, his mind, work equally well.

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