Fall is in the air, even on these hot Indian summer days. Our tomatoes are drying, beans being canned, pumpkins overgrown. If we don’t stop during these moments of pure beauty, as when a burnished dragonfly graces our yard stakes for a few precious seconds, or buckwheat blossoms turn to “cotton” on the bush before “rusting” in winter, then when? So begins the sad slide into autumn, the shorter days and less daylight, when I wonder about things I haven’t done.
Perhaps a typical human attribute, to do/not do then regret later, upon reflection. But how to change, to act in the moment? I over-ruminate about the smallest decisions… The time to act has never been more urgent: Scientists have for decades warned of global warming and climate change. People across the world, of all backgrounds and political persuasions, see their cities inundated in floods, wildfires ravage their landscape and rob them of their homes, and they lose clean air and water. This is to say nothing of the animals that share our planet. Alarming new research shows that fully a quarter of American birds have already gone extinct in the last 50 years due to habitat loss, pesticide use, and global warming – far worse than scientists imagined. And as birds fall away, our entire ecosystem unravels on earth: whether bird, insect, predator, or prey.
An author friend recently wondered if writing these blogs isn’t a way to retreat from the world, from our responsibility to inform ourselves, to act and to help others. But I rather think it’s a necessary reminder to observe seasonal changes and appreciate the mundane moments that comprise a year; that the haven of nature – even a small garden – creates a foundation, a guiding light that’s always nearby. Rather than an escape, it fortifies and prepares me to go out into the world and continue the good fight. Younger activists are filling the streets, as should we all, to fight for a healthier future. Happy Fall, to you and yours – may you celebrate this moment, and the renewal of the coming seasons!