Sunday, October 26, 2008

Leaf-fall


The Indians based their calendars on natural events that impacted their lives. For Plains Indians December was the moon of popping trees. July was the moon of cherries-are-ripe. January was the moon of frost-in-the-teepee. Their system makes more sense than basing your calendric names on Roman divinities and emperors that have no meaning for us any more, and never did on this continent.

My personal system is somewhat erratic, since I seem to go by the actual days that something significant happens and that will vary from year to year. Like the day of the first snow, or the day of the first sunflower. Today was the Day of Falling Leaves. My cottonwoods have been holding on most valiantly, but today they compromised with a strong northwest wind and began the process of stripping themselves out for the winter. Usually we will have a wet spell, followed by a cold snap, then the leaves will begin to fill the air with their flimsy fluttering as they have today. For the Lakota, November was the moon of falling leaves, so according to that calendar it is a bit early this year. In actual fact leaves almost never make it into November here.

As with all seasonal punctuation marks I am sad to see them go, but also full of hope and anticipation for the season to come. And as the Indians know, the leaves will be back and as poor forked beings we can only hope to be here to celebrate them when they return.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

It was a day for watching leaves here in Georgia, too.
Thank you for your words of beauty and life's inexorableness.

theotherryan said...

Hate to pick but somehow things I don't know stick in my craw. I think I figured out more or less what region you are living in.

Rio Arriba said...

TOR, email me your guess. There might be a prize!

The Hermit said...

Sounds like a nice day out there. Cold and windy here. Clear though, lots of leaves blowing around.