“And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly; I perceived that this also is vexation of sprit.
For in much wisdom is much grief; and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.”
Ecclesiastes, Chapter 1
Some autumn mornings, I can almost imagine I am back in the east coast early winter. Where I’ve lived for most of my life here in Zone 9, we don’t have the same seasons I remember growing up. But I got a déjà vu sense outside at about 9:30 this morning. Days are short enough now, 9 am sun slants in from a low angle from the east, I can smell autumn, especially when it’s the misty cool of the shadows near the pond, before the bees wake up.
What folly, to want to hold on to summer. One might even say it is a vexation of the spirit. By early afternoon the sun again angles, from the west this time, and my back yard garden succumbs to the hot blue glare in the cloudless sky, and is revealed for what it is: a desert. There is no denying that this is the season to “pluck up what has been planted” and to watch as everything slowly burns to death.
But the sorrow of seeing summer pass is tempered by the soft and gradual acceptance of season’s ending. Later in Ecclesiastes, the author reassures: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, no wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.”
I worked hard and learned a lot, and I had a great garden this summer, and I look forward to working hard and learning even more next year.