34 Autumn’s Story to Winter’s Tale

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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32 For Britain’s city limes, clifftop ferns and country brambles

There is no escape from the tough promises of Autumn. Spring will surely come again, but it starts in Autumn’s encroaching darkness.  Nature alone owns the chemistry, the patent, to transform a whole season, and thus the definition of our land and future.

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In the shorter daylight hours, droplets of time are filled with our moist island air.  From the “Jerusalem” hills to the concrete pave and chalk cliffs, wherever, Britain,  becomes re-defined through Autumn.

In the city, the peridot shades of planted limes of roads and canal sides will fade to palest yellow topaz.  In the country, there will be opalescent metamorphosis in the bramble hedgerows. Emerald leaves will transform to red, to orange, to gold.

All plants have their final moments, but when the heart of the sun can no longer be seen in the sky.  it does instead, place itself  in miniature, through a plant’s leaves.  As the leaves fall, the sun dutifully does its work to warm the soil for the next Spring. Such is regeneration.

Soon, no leaves on the trees means space. Space to see the sky and watch it blossom.

© 2014 La Floralie

28 For Dignified Remembrance Before and Beyond 1914, 1945, 2014. 11.00am

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THE ORIGINAL PHOTOGRAPHS  WERE ALL TAKEN THROUGHOUT THE DAY OF  9 JUNE 2014

EXACTLY 5 MONTHS AGO TODAY.

A notably extreme day of weather.

6.00am The skies had opened.

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Previously triumphant blooms had been utterly battered at dawn.

With strong, very still stems remaining, entrenchment becomes a permanent memory, a dutiful fulfillment beyond life.

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TODAY 11.40AM AFTER THE CENOTAPH SERVICE, LONDON

Whilst the British Legion play traditional songs for the proud to march along The Strand, London, the sun has just broken through the clouds. The music  has created an uplifted spirit with singing in the Cenotaph crowds.  Just like today, the sun on  pushed its way through the clouds on June 9 morning.

The light of day is indeed illuminating.  Some poppies managed to withstand the thundery blasts and angry torrents from 8 hours before. They would be fresh to see another day. When the sun shines,  hope can fill the air, sadness dissolves, the past is past, and life goes on. but with the callous brutalities  of war, perhaps time and sunshine doesn’t always heal.  In a simple garden, for poppies on the soil, on this June 9 morning, there were three no-choice scenarios for those left standing:

1. For some, previously bright individuals, now worse for wear, unavoidably exposed to Nature’s wrath, it would be a brave onward struggle to unfurl damaged petals with a brave face. 2. Others, whilst exhausted from the weathering, by pure chance of their position, remained physically intact.  They would continue to stand together,  at least until Nature determined the next event.

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3. For those with recognisable and handsome, bright and youthful looks intact, the sun would warm with a homely security.  Warmth which would offer a short, carefree respite from the past terror of the night and an uncertain day. Even poppies can dream. Within each standing poppies’ eyelids, the luxury of taking moments to dream of past Spring days with echoes of birdsong was heaven sent. Birds are silent in storms. No other moment would ever be as warm and soothing and mild as these brief hours of sunshine, even in the sticky wet soil.

A few hours in uncertainty can create a very swift maturity.  What was to be gained from all these new experiences would be the new and valuable knowledge for survival. Even the heaviness of fallen cold rain which had tormented and shredded fragile petals,  would now be seen as refreshing dew in the light of day.

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© 2014 La Floralie