Darkness comes so much faster now than it used to, and my ability to tell time by the sun has diminished. This is something I took for granted in the warm season. I still look up at the sun now and think to myself that I have a certain number of hours left in a day, only to find out that I have terribly miscalculated. If I am not far from home, this represents no problem. But if I am in the woods or hiking a long trail, this can be very problematic, indeed. Darkness descends quickly on the forest, and ignorance of the law is no excuse. The fault lies completely with me.
|A much diminished sun hiding behind a tree.|
Gone is that dramatic arc the sun used to travel (but recently) in the sky. It has been replaced by one that is plummeting at record speed to the shortest day of the year. “High noon” is nowhere to be found, and I’m afraid we won’t see it again until sometime next year. Then we will have to relearn our skills. Truly, we are a challenging species to even the kindest and most patient of creators.
All of the little forest animals are fat now, each having stored a bit of the sun inside itself. This they did through the consumption of plant food. The plants are the great transformers of the physical world. One might even say they are the great transmuters of the physical world, taking the energy of the sun and, through the curious use of chlorophyll, storing it in their cells. So it goes like this: active direct sun energy, transmuted to passive sun energy stored in plants, transmuted to physical energy in bodies. And it doesn’t stop there because the physical world is only one of the worlds in which energy may travel. (What wisdom the Great Alchemist must have had when adding a chloroplast to the soup of life!)
All wild things follow a natural course, and natural laws are never deviated from--ever. It is only mankind who attempts to deviate from the natural, at great consequence and tragedy to himself. We would be wise to follow our animal and plant friends, who have so patiently left us such clear instructions--instructions they repeat over and over as a teacher would do for a naughty child.