This week has been very disconcerting. When I feel this way I look to nature to remind me of the bigger picture. I have taken a very long walk each day. I see the river rising as it should at this time of the year, the leaves changing and falling, and, thanks to the incredible amount of rain, the mushrooms rising. My husband has brought home something new almost every day to identify. There was even an article in our local paper about the diversity of fruiting fungi this fall, some not seen for the last ten years.
Watching the ducks paddling around in swirling water that I would be afraid to swim in due to its force, is comforting as well as inspiring. They are completely at home no matter the tempest around them. Or, maybe to my untrained eye, they know when to dodge the churning water coming from below that I can't see from where I stand. I wish I had the same knowledge about my own world. To know how to swim into the whitewater while avoiding the deadly whirlpools would be empowering.
While my sunroom would hardly be considered a nature area, it is soothing to see my Christmas cactus doing what they normally do at this time of year. The days shorten and they bloom. With all the gray days in October, they are a bit ahead of schedule. They have adjusted to what is going on around them.
Outside is another story. Our temperatures this fall have been abnormally warm. We did have a light frost in September, so the hollyhocks and other perennials died back. The annuals died off and it looked like fall was on the way to winter. Then we had copious amounts of rain and highs in the sixties with nighttime lows in the high forties for all of October and now for the first two weeks of November. Today it is a beautiful spring day. We started out with rain and now it is sunny and breezy. Trouble is, it is not spring. The snapdragons and even some petunias have reseeded and sent up seedlings, the perennials are coming back from the roots. They don't know it yet, but all will get a rude awakening later in the week when it is supposed to freeze at night.
I feel like the outdoor plants. I had been going along thinking I had at least a notion of what was going on, and now-I don't know what to think or where to turn. Society was not what I thought it was. I went to bed one night and woke up to a very harsh reality. It would be easier to live in some sheltered, hothouse world where there was plenty of time to make decisions and adjust. Truth is, life is not that way. I stay grounded by enveloping myself in a world that remains constant by continuously changing, the real world, the natural world. The plants will freeze, go dormant and be back in the spring and their lives will go on. While I can't go dormant entirely (wish that I could) I do need to rest, pull back and conserve my energy for whatever life delivers next.