Unaware

I’ve often heard people say that we don’t have seasons here in Monterey.  If by “seasons” they mean it doesn’t snow, then yes, we don’t have snow.  But nature is cyclical and even in tropical places or regions of the world with “Mediterranean climates,” like lovely Monterey, there are seasons.  The most obvious way to see the difference in the seasons is to note the changes, leaves on tree, no leaves on tree; long sunny days, short less-sunny days.  Nature needs a break, it needs to grow, to create to bear, to rest – so although we don’t have as drastic changes from season to season, they are there – you just have to be aware. The season changes in every region of the world are fitting to that region’s ecology and environment, or maybe it’s the other way around, the ecology and environment make the seasons change in the way they need.  Or maybe it’s a compromise of both, or something entirely different…

We often walk through life blind to our surroundings.  For years and years I lived in Monterey and was so absorbed with my life (whatever that means) that I didn’t pay attention to the season changes, the differences in the visibility of the stars and the moon in the summer versus the winter, the abundance of fruit in the summer and the baron shrubs and bushes of late-fall.  I have started noticing, however.  I notice the subtle changes daily in the autumn: less day light, a lower hanging sun, a definite change in weather – namely, less fog but more crisp, cool air.  I see squirrels putting away acorns.  It’s amazing! The other day as I was laying out in the midday sun of my driveway, I kept hearing something rustling in the oak tree above me and the sound of things dropping on the ground around me.  I looked up and watched as a squirrel was intentionally knocking acorns from the tree onto the ground. It made me think of something a co-worker had mentioned the week prior, that is, when squirrels put away a lot of acorns in the Fall that means (according to the Farmer’s Almanac) that it’s going to be a wet winter.  Well that makes logical sense!  Plants (seeds) need water to grow and the winter is the wet season, so squirrels act as the oak tree farmers, encouraging the seeds (acorns) to fall on the ground in the Fall and hopefully when the wind and rain comes, they will get some soil (nutrients) and be able to sprout and bring about more oak trees come Spring!  Nature is amazing.  How do the squirrels know?  We don’t need to get too philosophical here…

So I guess all I’m saying here is that if we intentionally make ourselves more aware, there is so much to discover in our surroundings.  I wonder what else I’ve been missing all these years…?

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