Nature is testimony to second chances. Today reminded me of this in so many ways. Fall is definitely in the air and there is the ardent task of cleaning up the landscape as leaves drops and plants begin to incubate for the winter not too far away. Seasons don’t stand out so distinctly on the west coast, particularly California and more so in San Diego. Today’s fall day stood in the 80’s and the humidity was more than usual. I sweated up a storm as I pruned flowers and shrubs and cleaned yard waste. I eyed my new composter that had been assembled by my husband and relished feeding it material. The old debris had a purpose — to feed the new life emerging. Nothing seems wasted in nature.
I admire the rebloom of roses in Merlin’s Garden and how the salvia stretches its arms in blooms of purple and red. Birds feed on seed and hummingbirds sip the salvia’s blooms and nearby penstemon. The winter crop is beginning to show its strength with eggplant rich in color and tasty promise. Peppers of every color are unfurling. The tomatoes are still going strong thanks to our hearty sunshine. Monarch caterpillars have already fed on the leaves of the butterfly weed, which stands naked before me although I know for sure it will cast its orange blooms next year. I envision another year in which our yard is graced by the Monarch’s dance. Harry, the ground squirrel that has become our newest resident, peaks above the hole he has dug and freaks out the minute he sees me walking up the stairs. I laugh. I have no plans to move him any time soon. So far he has been a minor nuisance and a major joy. Why the heck would I name him if I thought differently? The life around me makes me so happy.
If we ever doubt the ability of life’s renewal, then we should take a walk in nature. It can be as close as our own backyard. It is here we realize an essential truth. What passes away only gives way for the next unfolding of existence just as the loss of one rose makes possible for another. It is the way of second chances happening over and over again. Just when we think life is over it begins.