Seasons

Winters signal shows
As a golden daffodil
Dispels the gloom

- My first haiku

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth.

Henry David Thoreau

As I started to write this the mornings were getting colder which is as it should be given that it was mid-May here in Australia. Autumn was fading into winter. A golden daffodil felt it was time to shine. My heart sings. I am with Thoreau, my spirits are lifted with the first signs of each new season. The rhythm of our lives is measured by the seasons. The blossoming daffodil was confirmation that it was indeed winter.

Now as we move into spring the process of writing this has piqued my interest in what causes the seasonal changes. I wrote in “Meditation Direction” about the wonderment I felt when I realised that by facing east during the twenty minutes of my meditation I travel about 558 kilometres (346 miles) toward the east with the orbiting of the earth. I realised that the movement of the earth must influence the climate changes we experience as seasons. So a little searching on YouTube “unearthed” (pardon the pun) the excellent explanation (see below) of how the earth’s tilt combined with the earth’s orbit produces what we see as seasons. Suddenly the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn and the words equinox and solstice take on more significance. In our new house I have my meditation cushions beside my study window and I am able to meditate facing toward where the sun appears every morning. The exact position of this event changes slightly between summer and winter. I used my iPhone compass to measure these this morning and in summer months it is about 50°NE and in winter months it is about 35°NE. Not exactly scientific but you can see my point, the earth does move in relation to the sun.

I use the word “appear” intentionally rather than “sunrise” which I now see as a quaint medieval term for the daily event. We spend the earth’s rotation during the day gazing at the sun as we pass by and at night gazing into the dark void of space. There is no “rising” or “setting” of the sun, yet most people still refer to the events this way despite their knowledge of the earth’s rotation.

On the subject of seasonal weather, I live in Australia, possibly the driest continent on earth, and I find it amazing how quickly people complain about even one rainy day. Even the TV weather presenters apologise for forecasting rainy weather as if that is a bad thing. Well, it certainly is in those areas affected by flooding but not for most of us. We have little to complain about unlike an old acquaintance of mine from Minnesota in USA who was fond of saying that his state “has 9 months of winter and 3 months of bad snow skiing.”

Let us just be grateful for the life that allows us to feel the change, see the change.

The world has not to be put in order: the world is order incarnate. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order, to know what is the world order in contradistinction to the wishful-thinking orders which we seek to impose on one another.

Henry Miller – Henry Miller On Writing

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