Timing isn’t Everything

I make some effort to time my autumnal photo shoots to catch the leaves at their peak, but even when there are hardly any leaves still on the trees, the angled light at this time of year shows them off like nobody’s business. The gestalt? One of calm, quiet loveliness.


If I must die,
let it be in autumn:
falling into gold with the leaves,
rising into blue with the birds.

This entry was posted in Appreciating Deeply, Feeling Clearly, Mortality and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Timing isn’t Everything

  1. Jim Taylor says:

    Your poem makes me think of Camelot: “If ever I would leave you…”

    I’m not sure that anyone can choose when to die, but I have an unfounded belief that more people die in spring than in any other season. They hung on through winter, fighting — like plants — for life. And then when spring comes, when warmth and life returns, they feel they can relax and let go…

    Jim T

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim T – There used to be stories that people hung on to see another major religious festival, whatever that would be for them – Christmas, Easter, Passover. I haven’t seen any rigorous analysis of that, either. I also have a feeling that people sometimes can finally let go, more or less when they decide to. Hence, perhaps, the oft-heard advice from those working in palliative care that in the final stages we should tell our loved ones it’s OK for them to die.

  2. Tom Watson says:

    I wonder if I’m alone in thinking that this autumn has come upon us more quickly than usual. Not sure why that feeling exists, but it’s there. Maybe it’s because of my age…don’t know.

    Even though there’s the persistent phenomenon of “hanging on until a particular time” there’s still the stealthy suddenness of things.

    I’m reminded of something Jim Morrison of The Doors wrote:
    Do you know how pale and wanton thrillful
    comes death on a strange hour
    unannounced, unplanned for
    like a scaring over-friendly guest you’ve
    brought to bed


  3. When I set out with my sister a few days ago, to deliver a puppy near Carleton Place, I thought the landscape would be dreary. We were blessed by a sunny day that showcased tamarack singly and in massive stands turned yellow and gold — most often against a backdrop of dark green pines — lakes and even swamps reflecting the cloudless sky, an occasional rosy maple (especially near water) among the fading yellow of other deciduous trees, and spreading bushes less brilliant than sumac that turn wine-red at this time of year. Even the rocks contributed colours and textures that we might not notice when the leaves are at their peak. Even as Jim Morrison’s poetry seems likely to apply to our impending separation, we agreed that we had been gifted in the day and in the rest of the journey we are travelling together.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – “gifted in the day and in the rest of the journey we are travelling together.” What a lovely way to take leave of life and each other. You and your sister are gifted indeed.

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