"When I am laid, am laid in earth,
May my wrongs create
No trouble, no trouble in thy breast;
Remember me, but ah! forget my fate,
Remember me, remember me, but ah! forget my fate."
- Henry Purcell, “Dido’s Lament”, from “Dido and Aeneas”
Yeah, yeah, I know. The season of autumn has descended on the Northern Hemisphere. Stuff is dying all around me and change is in the air. So, I could post some melancholy seasonal whine about how gardens are just reminders that everything is temporary, and that everything ends. Some totally awesome seasonal buzz kill after the parched wild summer. But I won’t.
Instead, I meditate on the parable of seasonal change as Summer jilting Autumn, the way Aeneas jilted Queen Dido. She died alone, like Mother Nature in Autumn. But More particularly, I try to avoid her fate and enjoy what's now. And now, it's Autumn. I'm darn sure not going lament about Autumn's pathetic, lonely fate once Summer blows town.
So heed Dido's warning and remember Summer fondly, not mourn her passing. Meditate about spending less time observing the solemn passing of the seasons, and more enjoying the present. Winter may be moving in on Autumn, but I'm I'm paying attention. I am memorizing Autumn.
I’m more interested in the good stuff; in the golden hour of the day; in one final blaze; one red moment. This is the time of year to enjoy how Mother Nature ages gracefully. Done this way, growing old isn’t so bad. Nature has cloaked herself in the fiery splendor of autumn – even here in my sweltering desert, Summer bows out gracefully to Autumn.
Likewise, I meditate on the garden. Summer's youthful garden is cloaked in a million shades of green. Now, is is old and red and brown. Summer's departure eventually leaves the aging Gardener cloaked in the fiery colors of autumn. I'm trying to avoid Dido’s mistake, but not her lament. Don’t just forget my fate, but also remember me. The fortunate learn to enjoy getting old before they die.