While what is supposed to be winter in Colorado Springs has only brought one short-lived snowfall, which has already receded into memory, and the landscape, instead of being clad in a snow-white suit is wearing a drab brown cloak, my mind wanders back to those autumn days in Germany still draped in colorful garb.
My reminiscences don’t stem from a dislike of winter. I’m glad to be living in a place that has four distinct seasons, even if they have lost some of their characteristics, and I don’t want to hurry this season along, as nature needs its periods of rest and renewal. So do humans, but we have chosen to disregard that fact—to everybody’s detriment.
I have used the weeks that straddle the old and the new year to “bird, eat, and read,” as I recently told some friends. I added that one has to choose one’s goals wisely in order to give oneself a chance to meet them. I have had no trouble meeting mine. 😊
One of the books I returned to, after my initial reading this past summer, is Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer. In its pages, like some precious seed sleeping in the earth’s fertile humus and ready to burst forth, lie some of the most profound and touching words to ever have tugged on my heartstrings:
Sometimes I wish I could photosynthesize
so that just by being,
just by shimmering at the meadow’s edge
or floating lazily on a pond,
I could be doing the work of the world
while standing silent in the sun.
With a renewed sense of awe and appreciation I look at the green world that holds and sustains us, and I thank each plant not only for her beauty, but for “doing the work of the world,” by inhaling our carbon dioxide and returning to us life-giving oxygen and food to nourish our bodies and souls.
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PS: I don’t pick wildflowers, but decided to include a photo of the pretty bouquet someone else had felt compelled to collect. I’m not sure, but think it contains goldenrod (Goldrute), oregano (Wilder Dost), a Red Campion (Rote Lichtnelke oder Rotes Leimkraut), a type of aster (Aster), and some small pink flowers I don’t recognize. If you botanists find any wrong identifications, please let me know.