The river path gives many profound teachings in transience.
In early June, campion resemble blousy, leg-o-mutton sleeves. They seem fresh, girlish, even virginal.
Now, in August, they have become little burnished urns
full of tiny, ash-gray seeds.
I find this oddly exhiliarating. The summer, having reached its blaring crescendo of green, prepares for death. It's about time. As things senesce and die they become deeply interesting. Of course first there's the whole going to seed thing. August is one big late-term pregnancy.
Consider, as a thematically appropriate example, milkweed.
From a fuzzy morula of pale green nubbins
spring stalked, rosy buds
which open, one by one,
to form a hemispheric cluster of intricate, pink, star-like blossoms
each elaborate and complex;
each stalk elongates, sagging with its heavy, blanching flower,
as the whole flowerhead attenuates and wilts
shrivels and browns
and dies -- as a fresh green pod emerges from its base
and splits -- its bright, tufted, seeds taking to the air --
leaving behind a graceful, gray shell, and emptiness --
how grateful I am to witness all this.