‘… to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, a time to reap that which is planted.’
Who could forget that classic Byrds’ song, its lyrics inspired by The Book of Ecclesiastes?
How I love the turning of the seasons, never more evident than in a garden.
Today is the last day of Winter in the Southern Hemisphere. With Spring already heralded by the appearance of abundant buds, baby birds, and an influx of insects, both helpful and pestilent, I look forward to the changes being wrought. However, I’m not too fond of the summer humidity we must endure before the season turns again into my favourite season of all – Autumn. But I digress …
While I pondered the change of season, I was reminded of the cyclical nature of life, its time-old reassuring, repeated rhythms. The death and decay of the old orders are replaced and renewed by successive generations. In fact, the cycle of life depends upon it. We all, without exception, must return to the dust from which we come. I kind of like the idea of breathing the dust of my ancestors, of becoming stardust myself one day – but not too soon!
The next generation of gardeners in my family is already building on the knowledge of their forebears (my grand-children call them ‘grancestors’) just as I did from mine. My mother was an avid and creative gardener, so too her mother and grandmother.
Now I have the joy of sharing my wonder in nature with my own children and grandchildren. I have the pleasure of their ‘clear-eyed vision and true instinct for what is beautiful’, revitalising my own dimmed and sometimes wearied view of the world. We learn from each other in the true cyclical sense; a passing back and forth of appreciation, connectedness and knowledge.
“If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.”
Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring
And thus do we reap what we sow.