Acer palmatum ‘Koto-no-ito’ (Golden Old Harp) was at its autumnal best today and caught my eye. At this time of the year especially it is necessary to capture the moment immediately for it may well be gone tomorrow or even later in the day; the light changes so quickly that the moment can vanish in a blink and the weather is so changeable that the beautiful display of foliage I admire today may be ground litter tomorrow. So, the camera was taken out and the picture captured – and a few others followed, as happens.
Autumn is a season of two changes – summer foliage turns to its autumnal colours and, then quite quickly, it is gone. We generally welcome the first change and bemoan the second. There is a sadness at this loss.
Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
I imaginatively linked the loss of leaves – the clothing of the trees – with a recent small event in my life to which I had an unexpected and surprising reaction. To pass the time during the days of dreadful weather Mary decided to do a bit of a clean out of the wardrobe in our bedroom. When she had finished her side, she cajoled me into dealing with my clothes. I am inclined to hold on to old clothes, moving them down the hierarchy of standing from “fit to appear in public” to “fine for around the house” to “grand for the garden” and I am slow to progress them along this downward loss of status so the wardrobe had many items well gone beyond their best.
Mary’s reasoning and common-sense could not be denied and many things made their way not to the lower clothing classes, already well populated, but directly to the rubbish bin. It upset me! It really and truly upset me. I felt there had been an invasion of my life, an intrusion; that it had been a violation. My mind ran to those television programmes where hoarders resist the clearing and cleaning of their homes and I felt a deep sympathy for and empathy with them.
I wonder if the trees have similar feelings?
Also in the garden today: