Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Along the Cornfield

We do a disservice to our kids when we teach them that the seasons begin with spring and end with the 'dead' of winter, portraying fall as the end of the growing season. There, at the top of the brilliant red sumacs are the seed stalks, already formed, waiting for winter winds to break them apart and winter snows to press them to the ground. There, among the yellow leaves of the maples, are the winged seeds, dropping and spiralling their way to earth, to land within the layers of leaves that will decompose around them and enrich the soil for when they sprout in the spring. The corn ears are abundantly full of seed that will be soon harvested and dried and stored, probably as food for cattle, but which could very well be the seed for another year's crop. The seeds are formed during the summer from the pollination of spring's flowers, and it is in the fall that the seeds ripen in preparation for another cycle of life. It is in the fall that the new cycle really begins with the seeds. Look around you at the prairie plants and the trees and you will see seed pods and seed heads and seeds with wings and fins and prickles that cling to animal fur and seeds with bits of fluff that carry them on the wind. Fall is not the end, but the beginning, and a beautiful beginning it is, before the winter rest that is followed by the greening and sprouting forth from this fall's seeds. Life begins anew in the fall, with the potential of the seed.

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