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A Golden Sun and a Changing Earth

Pop culture tells us that today is the first day of autumn, but that’s not precisely true. Tomorrow will be the first day of autumn, although it’s fair to say that tonight will be the first night of fall. The autumnal equinox actually arrives at 7:54 PM here in our part Turtle Island, just about the moment of full dark.

That makes today a meta-threshold of sorts, a moment that traverses seasonal spaces even more than is usually the case. And in a world now turning so fast, not just in societal terms but literally, with the speed of seasonal transformation accelerating, it gives us a moment to pause, to contemplate change, to catch our breath and prepare for what is to come.

For fall has been here for a while now, dueling with the spirits of warmer winds on their own turf, so to speak. Autumn appeared months ago, a colorful rider breaching the horizon to count coup against summer, and for weeks now, it has been winning the battle on the temporal lands of its predecessor. Such grass as we have had in this drought remains green for the moment, and most of the aspen leaves, too . . . but the elms have passed gold are are headed for orange and brown, willows half-yellowed and chamisa in bright full bloom.

It is, perhaps, the last day of the summer wildflowers, the small sunflowers that edge our boundaries having mostly gone dormant for another year, only one or two diminutive stands still adance in the light. And so, it’s perhaps fitting to mark it with a work of similar name and spirit. From its description in the Accessories Gallery here on the site:

Summer Wildflowers Barrette

Summer wildflowers rise from green-tipped stalks to blossom and dance in the light. Wings summons these spirits of warmer winds in this barrette, hand-milled in a random profusion of silvery petals across a gently arcing rectangle of medium-gauge sterling silver. In the center of the barrette, a single round citrine rests in a saw-toothed bezel, a small wild sunflower amid the larger blossoms. The “stalk” is formed of an elegant silver pick made of sterling silver half-round wire, hand-stamped in a repeating pattern of directional arrows alternating with tiny sacred hoops down its length. At one end, the pick is anchored by an elegant oval peridot cabochon, beautifully translucent in the color of summer greenery, set securely into a saw-toothed bezel. The barrette is 3-5/16″ long by 1-3/4″ high; the citrine cabochon is 1/4″ across; the pick is 3-7/8″ long by 3/16″ across (save at the bezel); the peridot cabochon is 3/8″ long by 1/4″ across at the widest point (dimensions approximate). Another view shown below.

Sterling silver; citrine; peridot
$775 + shipping, handling, and insurance

It’s a reminder of the inevitability of change, of transformation — but also of the seasons’ inherent stability, climate change notwithstanding. Schedule and pace may alter, but the seasons themselves still come and go, bringing with them their prescribed gifts.

At the moment, the most obvious such gifts are a golden sun and a changing earth, circumstances that provide a respite from the heat even as they give us time to prepare for the deep cold of winter.

Perhaps this day, with its thresholds within thresholds, will cause us to reflect on such gifts more than usual, and to appreciate them better.

~ Aji








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