by Carol Dixon,
Now that summer appears to be waning in NE England and damp and drizzle herald approaching autumn I decided to look through some of my photos of flowers to remind me of the beauty I have enjoyed during the past few months from the dainty garden flowers (including our golden wedding rose) the common ordinary ones we often refer to as weeds in our local country park to the exotic beauty of the flowers in the tropical gardens on Tresco.
I also thought about some of the poems I had written over the years across the seasons.
smiling in the sun;
of their golden heads
the label ‘Weed’
turning to thistledown,
like fairies, borne on
air – wispy seeds
By a farmer’s field near Denwick
A patch of poppies grow,
A flash of brightest scarlet
They set the view aglow,
While their delicate tall neighbours
In a lovely deep cerise
Enhance the golden landscape
With their glorious sense of peace.
PANSIES (pensees) in France
Purple pansies shivering in a pot,
the early sunlight on their smiling faces
defying the frosty earth;
velvet petals, cold to the touch,
silky soft, promises of summer…….
Memories of warmer days in Italy and France:
red-barned farm in the Suisse Normande,
chattering chickens and voluble farm wives,
excited dogs and solid farmers
in blue overalls, leisurely leaning
across the fence for an afternoon smoke:
‘B’jour m‘seur, m’dame,’
with the quiet courtesy of the country kind;
And a solitary cross in pitted stone –
purple pansies at its foot –
remembrance of young men lost
in battles long forgotten.
Upon the hills, the daffodils
trumpet an Easter blessing;
their multi-faceted faces
framed by spear-shaped sepals
gleaming golden in the sun,
bonny as Easter bonnets
bobbing in Pace-procession.
Below the hill, the daffodils
quiver, like frilly yellow tutus
in the motion of the dance,
while the soft wood wind ruffles
budding trees, gently rousing
from their winter sleep.
By woodland ways and fold
of hills, the dancing daffodils,
herald the splendour of the Spring;
their bold, bright beauty proclaiming
to the waiting, waking world:
Sitting in the sunshine
eating melon, showered
with cherry blossom petals
– a summer snowstorm;
Watching the flakes
covering the cloth
dead fly swimming
in tea cup…
time to go fishing.
Sunflowers – tall and straight,
yellow faces beaming in the rain,
speaking of golden glory
smiling through tears,
memories of summer sunlight
living on till autumn days;
heads shaken by the disturbing breeze,
gently rocking – unperturbed,
promise of radiant life
and summer days, gone
but not forgotten.
As I pondered on the pictures and read through the poems I had written, it made me think of how barren our world would be without the beauty of flowers which reminded me of a children’s hymn I learned when my kids were young: Think of a world without any flowers which seems even more apt in these days when we are thinking of climate change.
In autumn I miss the flowers but there is still much to praise God for and I am blest to see the changing leaves in their glorious array of colours and on crisp dry days still enjoy the childish pastime of scrunching through the heaps of fallen leaves under the trees with my grandchildren as we search for conkers.
Many years ago, my family bought me a book that reflects the changing seasons in our lives. It is called ‘For everything a season’, from the book of Ecclesiastes – which I don’t often read- but the famous passage from which it takes its title gives me much food for thought as I ponder on it.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (New Living Translation)
For everything there is a season,
A time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
This autumn in my life, I have a few different things coming up – replacement knee surgery which will make walking easier in the future, a cataract removed from my eye so I will be able to see more clearly, and hopefully another injection in my right middle finger (which will make writing & typing much easier!). The waiting time has been difficult and I am not looking forward to being incapacitated for a few weeks but once I have recovered I hope that the new ‘season’ in my life will give me a better quality of life by the time the season changes again I may be skipping along the woods with my grandchildren and able to see the insects in their bug garden!
In many ways the changing seasons give us great hope as we reflect on God’s faithfulness to us in all the seasons of our lives as an old hymn we used to sing in church reminds us:
Through all the changing scenes of life? (Click the link to view Youtube video)