The seasons have a magical way of easing us into the inescapable reality that time passes and waits for no one. Before the grey starkness of winter, we are flooded by a gush of warm color to keep us hopeful for the coming of spring. Nature is the best artist.
Magic is never far, it lives in every changing leaf, in the colors that move us, in the smell of an autumn day; all we have to do is look, hear, smell, taste and feel it. The knowing is sure to follow…
Every year at about the same time in November a new wind blows in Shanghai bringing with it the promise of a heartless winter to come. But there is so much to love about the way the fall forces itself on summer, not offering any apologies, simply making a bold statement, stripping the trees of their leaves, forcing us all to alertness and away from the laziness of summer warmth.
On a very early morning walk today, it was drizzling, fresh drops from a grey blanketed sky, the breeze was still catching its breath and getting ready to exhale later in the day, it was the time of morning magic. Soon winter will paint over everything with a muted canvas of grays, browns and whites, and the vibrant colors of fall will become just a memory. The few leaves I saw today with their glorious oranges, yellows and reds were just hanging on awaiting their turn to ride on the wings of the howling wind that is sure to come and carry them away…
What about this word destiny? Some believe it is already written, others are determined on rewriting it, some dismiss it completely and believe all is a haphazard series of coincidences… But aren’t we always changing the course of our destiny through actions we make and decisions we take? Isn’t blaming things on our destiny or our luck another way of abdicating from our responsibilities? How much of our lives are we directly responsible for and what part of them do we just allow ourselves to ‘go with the flow’ and just float inertly by. Going against the current, swimming upstream, creating a new path where no one has been before, isn’t that what humans where created for?
evening ponders on an unusually warm night in Shanghai
Fall, autumn, the time of separation, of big changes, of getting ready to go huddle indoors, and the time of little deaths. We get inspired and uplifted looking at the leaves changing color in the fall because it is just too overwhelmingly beautiful to witness. So death must have a beauty in itself like all things in life do. A leaf is born out of a magnificent blossom and it dies with an explosion of color. It is always about how we choose to see things, and this leaf was a magnificent vibrant yellow, can you see it?
Don’t you love the rolling of seasons and how elegantly each season fades into the next? Our glorious fall is shedding the last stage of vibrant colors as if it knows we will be yearning for brightness in the coming grey and white days of winter, so it saturates us with hues so bright that we yearn for the toned down palette that is sure to follow. In Shanghai’s streets these days the workers are busy sweeping away the fallen leaves and starting to bundle up for the coming cold.
Fall comes sending its fairies to color the trees in reds, oranges, yellows, golds and browns. Then the big wind blows its mighty breath to scatter the leaves creating a magical carpet of warm colors on a moist fragrant ground and causing sighs of wonderment from us all. And as gravity dictates, all leaves must fall to the ground. Well not this leaf. This leaf found itself destined for a short journey across a big city, riding on a bicycle wheel through alleys of Shanghai, because destinies are unknown, a mystery and not all leaves are meant to fall at the first gust of strong wind.