Autumn, the season which dutifully arrived with the promise of abundance in bounty and harvest, has now almost disappeared. On the eve of its departure, in England, as Winter prepares to take over, there is now little trace left of a vibrant land with the changing reds, yellows, oranges and purples which once defined the season.
When seeds burst and fruit falls, these crazy stirrings of atom-packed goodness, mark both destiny’s new beginnings and the final laboured task completed to a rewarding fulfilment. Sometimes a burst and a fall can occur in the very same moment. Once it does, Autumn’s identity of subtle, but magnificent decay by colour, begins in the leaves and flowers.
In UK’s Autumn, our heavier moist air, fading light and falling temperatures, are the catalysts which will come to define a new landscape for the year’s last quarter. They alone, influence the speed and effect of colour moving through the flora, but they also bring gigantic changes to entire forms and structures. Previously lush and fruitful empires will eventually dissolve into nothing, and there is nothing which can be done to prevent it.
It is an unforgiving reminder, that not only beauty, power and status has a very short reign, but life’s very purpose can only ever be temporary. As much as some might resist, the weather and time will win. It simply isn’t enough that colour can just fade back to its skeletal frame to don a new dress code at a future point. Evolution’s rule is: that evidence of all life must disappear, because the strangest truth of all is – nothing is more imperative for Nature’s future survival, than for life to decay.
After the summer’s upward direction of growth towards the sun, all plant life in Autumn directed its attention downwards, and for Winter, head first towards the deep centre of the earth is essential. Not dormancy, but rest required for evolution to safely prepare for change.
Above the ground, as the leaves have finally emptied the skylines, for Winter only, the universe opens for viewing. And also above ground, round about, one can now see the wood for the trees.
With stillness in the earth and a cool air are giving way to a new clarity of space, Winter will define itself as the season to conserve energy, however, because of its predecessor Autumn, it will also not be in anyway bleak.
Some flora who may consider themselves elite, have evolved to manage their power supplies with remarkable elegance and even apparent immortality. They do not fade as other plants. To do this, they have learned, through a long, arduous evolution, that the possession of both ugliness and beauty, has to be part of the same survival kit to work through every event which nature puts its way.
To pass through the most bittersweet Winter days with graceful transformation, Autumn’s seasonal gift for them is a whole book of compelling DIY DNA colour stories. It will speed them through the Winter very happily. For such plants, the success of their journey to survive and venture towards the next season, always lies in the genes.
© 2014 La Floralie