A well-supported principle of ecology is that the place where two ecosystems meet – between a forest and a stream, or a river and the sea – the diversity of life abounds. You’ll find more plants, more animals, more activity, courtesy of the mix.
I’m beginning to think the same principle holds true for the time around the change of seasons.
Fall fell on September 22 this year, and though afternoon temperatures here along the Gulf Coast are still mercilessly steamy, the air of autumn is all around.
The animals that seemed to loll through the end of summer’s heat (a wise tactic indeed – in the south you either take summer slowly or are struck dumb and still by its power) have been revived by the recent cool nights.
Here, at the change of seasons, birds and bugs (and bigger things, too) are teaching us about action and diversity in all their furry, feathered, whiskered and winged glory.
They know a change is coming.
They’re up and about and getting prepared.
They bicker and brag and celebrate and sing.
The opulence of summer has met the sweet breeze of autumn, and those of us lucky enough to be fed physically by the first and spiritually by the second . . . well, we need to get moving.
Now is the time to be outside – in this short reprieve between the hellish heat and the cruel cold – to be out looking and thinking and putting pen (or brush, or pixels, or child’s crayon if that’s what you have at hand) to paper.
We are the ones fortunate enough to be able to watch, listen, hear, taste, smell and see. We cannot capture the change, but it is both our responsibility and our reward to tell the story.
We can, each in our own way, share the joy and glory of the sweet place where two seasons meet, and mix, and move the world.
This piece was originally written for the October 2009 issue of Moonshine Magazine.