It is almost a month past equinox, and the sun shines deeper through my south windows. I cut back the summer bamboo to allow more heat and light for my greenhouse plants. I fit my schedule to the shortening days.
In September, I bought a new fica tree that reaches twelve feet, almost to the top of my sun room. I worry about it because it is so big and so vulnerable to the cold. I want it to be warm and safe in the winter to come, and so I have put caulking and glazing and the dulling of drafts on my list for autumn.
I used to think I was quite separate from daily and seasonal rhythms. The life of work and family, study and maintenance, crowded out the light and dark, the heat and chill.
Lately, however, I am going a little too far in the opposite direction. That is, I don’t seem to be able to separate myself from what is going on around me.
I feel somehow tied to the events I record, losing myself in their color and energy and sequence. I find myself ruminating once again about mind-body issues, about monism and dualism, spirit and matter, right brain and left brain, body and soul.
I seem so completely dependent on passage and cycle and repetition. It is as though the spinning globe were a gyroscope inside my heart, fusing its motion with mine, teaching me the fundamental frequency, humming with the song of my DNA.
And, of course, all of this is very good news for the fica tree. What more could she ask from the mind of her guardian than autumnal monistic confusion? “Perhaps,” she thinks (in arboreal fantasy), “he cannot really tell the difference between himself and me.”
This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the fourth week of middle fall. In the meantime, be careful of autumnal monistic confusion. You never know when it will strike.