A message of hope from the Canopy: Learn from the changing seasons

The forest has spoken. This weekend, this leaf, dressed in gentle shades of autumn, drifted down from the forest canopy in the Island Nature Reserve near Port Elizabeth in South Africa. The leaf’s message was clear: “Autumn is here. Winter for all of us is not far off. But remember. After the winter will come the spring and then the warmth of another summer. Learn from me, a humble leaf. Learn the lesson of the seasons. The winter of this Covid will pass too. Have faith in the passage of time. Rest assured. A new day is coming for us all.”

See picture below.

Picture: Mariska Spoormaker. Thank you.

The Seasons are Changing in England and South Africa

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV

March 2021

Change is in the air.

In England spring is beginning to shyly show her beautiful face.

In South Africa the autumn chill is starting to call for jerseys

Below are two pictures taken a few days ago. The first is of early spring daffodils in England. The second is of the South African “blood flower” now blooming in early autumn.

Read Mariska’s comment about the “blood flower” below the second picture.

Below: English spring daffodils – March 2021

Photo: Our relative in England

Below: South African autumn blood flowers – March 2021

Photo: Mariska Spoormaker

“When this bulb plant pushes out her red powder brush, you can know the time of summer is over. Some people call the Powderbrush / blood flower also the April Fool – why?” – Mariska Spoormaker on Facebook. (Behind the flowers is “Tiekie”, Mariska’s good friend and companion.

The Word Genius of John Keats

Below is the ode “To Autumn” by the poet John Keats

Here is a short, fun exercise that will show you what a genius Keats was when he chose words.

I have deleted some words in the ode.

Choose some words yourself. What would you put in?

Have a go and then at the bottom of the post I have printed the original ode with Keats’s words on bold red.

Then, compare your choices with Keats’s choices.

 

Ode with some words taken out

To Autumn

John Keats – 1795-1821

Season of mists and ……fruitfulness,
  Close ……….friend of the ……….sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
  With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves …….;
To ….with apples the …..cottage-trees,
  And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
    To ….the gourd, and ….the hazel shells
  With a …..kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think ….days will never cease,
    For summer has ……….. their clammy cells.

Keats’s version with Keats’s words in bold red

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
  Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
  With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
  And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
    To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
  With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
    For summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

 

How did you do?

You can do the same exercise for the rest of the ode.

Enjoy.

PS My late Uncle told me about the above exercise. He learnt it from a teacher in Southern Rhodesia, probably in the 1930s.