Time for T (and S and Y)

‘The changing year’s successive plan
Proclaims mortality to Man.’

Another of the ‘arty’ ideas I use in the garden is to display appropriate quotations  – on a piece of driftwood, a roof tile or, as shown here, a large slice of tree trunk. This section of tree and another equally large chunk had been abandoned in a car park and we risked the car’s suspension to bring them the 1oo mile journey home. The letters are aluminium, probably designed for cardmaking, and bought through the internet (I searched unsuccessfully recently to try to find the seller to replace the missing ones).

Having foolishly not made a note of the origins of some of the quotations I had to resort to the internet again (not in my Dictionary of Quotations this time) – it’s from a translation by Samuel Johnson of the Greek poet Horace (65 – 8 BC). What struck me today was that it is particularly autumn that makes us more aware of the cycle of things in our garden, and ultimately our own mortality – OK, we are very conscious of the glorious rebirth of our gardens in spring after the relative deadness of winter, but it’s easy then to get overtaken by the speed and volume of the burgeoning growth and almost take it for granted for half the year. And it is like that too in our lives, from childhood to adulthood and then the ‘autumn’ of our lives, when we are suddenly conscious of our position in this life cycle. Winters can be tough, but they can also be what we choose to make of them.

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