Life as a Year - Musings on the Approaching Days.

a writing by Denis Barter

As I awoke this morning,I realized that yes, the year was well advanced. On looking out the window as is my wont, I saw my immediate world had been coated with a sparkling white hoar frost. Skies were clear and as the sun broke above the eastern horizon, glittering frost served to remind me that this is a late date for our first killer frost. Normally in our location, southern central Ontario, we would have witnessed this notable event, long before now.

Notable in as much, as it is a water shed in our calendar for it marks the time when we are forced to accept Summer has moved on, Fall is in residence, and we can expect more severe frosts and shorter days, until we finally plumb the cold depths of Winter, and it will be at least three months down the road, before we begin the long climb back to warmer, longer days.

It also serves to remind me that the warming of our world, although constantly brought to our attention for some considerable time now, has not sunk in perhaps? Many of us are still not convinced that we are on a warming trend, and is one that could see such a change in our yearly climatic cycle, as to prove difficult to understand. Even the thought of such a happening, is incomprehensive to many of my age. Until we see and experience the climatic changes as have long been forecasted, few of us have not been too impressed nor convinced. That is until we see a morning such as this and duly note the later than normal, calendar date.

If and when the import of this day sinks in, it should serve to remind us this is indeed a late start to Fall and the fast approaching, colder days of winter will not be too far behind. When this first hard frost date is compared with earlier years? Some will be surprised to see that it was not too many years ago, that we witnessed this first hard frost on September 5th. Although that too was unusually early even for us! Normally September 15th is when the first frost of Fall is expected. However, if nothing more, it does serve to remind me, and a few others no doubt, that global warming might well be more advanced than we had at first thought?

Again I am given to compare our yearly calendar with the passage of years as applicable to our own tenure on earth. Many of us, older and hopefully wiser, are aware that whilst some of us have finally reached the autumn of our life, others have already left in the spring or early summer of theirs! Some of us have hung in there long after those who never enjoyed their Fall or Winter. Did they miss much? I think so, but the old saying still holds good? What one does not experience, one does not miss!

I was personally reminded that, until recently, I too had enjoyed a long, lingering even extended summer period when compared with that of many others. Little had concerned me greatly: my days were lived with little thought given for what might lie ahead? My life continued to roll along as it had done for some eighty plus years before. I saw little need to worry as to what my future might be, until the sudden unexpected mischief of Vertigo, reminded me that I too was vulnerable and no longer in the prime of youth nor indeed, the summer of my life! My ‘spring’ was not only gone, but was also going from my step: my easy laid back, and always enjoyable easy style of living - akin to the summer of my life - was no longer to be taken for granted as being my expectd due. I had never before given much serious thought as to what I might next do, or what lay ahead? I just upped and did whatever I chose to do, with little or no thought for the consequences! But now? Suddenly it seemed my daily routine was exacting more of a toll from me than I had ever considered possible! Brash and any thoughtless action on my part, was no longer a viable option! To say it brought me up short, is an understatement!

It has been some three weeks of struggling to maintain my equilibrium, and slow recuperation for me. (Fortunately, no mor than a bad memory today) but during this time I have sat down and given careful and considerate thought as to what my plans in the remaining years might allow me? It is not easy, after so many decades of carefree living, to find oneself at odds with their normal habits. Not easy to accept when one is brought up short and made to think on the limitations many others have had to endure for years.

Do I see myself now as someone unable to practice my daily habits, that have long pleasured me? The pure physical enjoyment received from work in the garden? The long walks taken that allowed me to ramble through the woods and across the fields? The time spent sitting and thinking on a garden seat, enjoying the scent and colour of my gardens as I consider what topic I might next write a poem about? Sincerely I trust this will remain part of my life for more years to come. When these pleasures are denied me, then I, like so many before, will move on to see what fate awaits me! I have no say in the time table, allocated me.

Of course, as yet, the pleasure I obtain from sitting and writing has not been affected to any degree, but this is a small part of my life. Admittedly, with steady progress in my recuperation, already evident, my life has returned to a more acceptable level, nonetheless there are still some limitations levied against me, that do not sit well!

No! In case you wonder? I am by no means an invalid nor shall I be if I continue to progress favourably at the same rate as has taken place this past week, nevertheless, I must, and do accept there has to be more thought given to what I next undertake. No more hasty flinging myself into heavy garden work without all the consequences are thoroughly considered first? Even to changing my thoughts regarding same. For now, I must be content to take slow, careful steps before I launch myself into any phyical work.

After a few hours of light garden toil yesterday, it was brought home to me, on rising this morning, that muscles are no longer accustomed to heavy physical work. For instance, the once regarded easy chore of removing dead annuals, has become more of a task than I have ever known before! It is my hope therefore, that slowly, step by step I shall get all the fall work completed without further problems. For this purpose, a long, lingering Fall period, would be my greatest asset.

Can only hope that this morning’s frost, although a precursor to winter, will have served a purpose? Too many times we tend to forget the global as well as our personal calendar and the advancing days, only serve further to have me scrambling to catch up when truly, I should have been more observant. Much earlier I should have taken the necessary steps to prepare ourselves for our upcoming winter. So it is with our own lives. We promise ourselves much, but all too often, deliver too little until too late!

Although perforce, I am forced to adopt a slower pace, there is still time to tackle those matters which, for various reasons, I chose earlier for reasons not always acceptable, to set aside. Methinks I have a busy time ahead! My list is seemingly long! Lol!

Just a thought or two I’ve had this fine October morning.

Rhymer. October 16th, 2014.

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