The Four Seasons

25/09/10 11:24 AM

The Four Seasons……………….

No. Not the “I-want-an-extra-set-of-white-fluffy-over sized-bath towels—–placed in a bathroom with a Vermont marble-floor—-the size of Alaska.” NOW.

 I am referring to the change of  season here in New England.

You have to take time and truly notice change. The change of season here in New England occurs fast.

One year, when I was not at the top of my game, I woke up, and I asked myself, “How did  this happen? These once green leaves turned brilliant shades of red, fiery orange, burgundy, burnt orange, and husky brown with hints of light green in their veins. I missed the event. I never arrived at nature’s party. My loss.

 I again said, “When did this happen? How did this happen? Was I not paying attention?”


As busy as I am this year,  I vowed to take time to truly observe nature’s pageantry. To document it digitally. And I will not doctor up the end result with thousands of changes. This is a hallmark of my photographic still work. What you see has very, very, very  little tweaking. I work from classical art training, rather than the , point, shoot–then colorize the leaves as if they they had an appointment with the “Wardrobe and Makeup departments” of a Hollywood movie studio.

Yet, as I watch the change of season unwrap like the foil layer of a Hostess Yodell, I am reminded of the true nature of the event. A change in leave color signals death. People often do not want to talk about death. Death is often “off the table.” It is one way to end a conversation, STAT.

What a metaphoric way to exit life here on earth. The Director calls out through her/his megaphone…….”Que talent. Talent take position.  Roll film. Film rolling…….. ACTION. Stage left………………..Talent,  gracefully fall to the ground. Twist. Wobble. Flutter.  Defy gravity. Fight it. Fight it. Fight it with strength—– then give into the moment. Cut. That’s a wrap.” It is not that simple friends.

I cannot fight nature. Nor can you fight nature.

I want to go out in a blaze of color. I want to gracefully float to the ground then be apart of one of childhood’s delightful tradition—the pile of raked leaves. As a youth, I would revel running  as fast as I could, wheezing with abysmal asthma, then jump into a mountain of raked, fallen leaves. I would leap towards the sky with wild abandon into a pile of leaves. Maybe that is why I appreciate the art of dance. Yet come to think of it, I was leaping  into a heap of  wilted, crisp, dead leaves. Death was in the form of a pile of fun, on my front lawn—–and I did not know it at the time.

I lost a friend this week.  I reflected during the Shiva period how he loved nature. He was an Eagle Scout.  Later, he was a troop leader.  He would conduct hiking trips with his Boy Scout troop and teach young Scouts to appreciate nature and take time to notice the change of season.

Look. Take time to really, really watch nature unfold around us. I know,  I once forgot or was not in the proper frame of mind to do this.

This neighborhood friend passed away far too young. Yet, as I concurred with his mother and his sisters when I visited with them at their house, “He is at peace. No more  suffering.”

 He passed like a autumn leave. He left this earthly world as I described……..with a backdrop of brilliant color leaves, landing gracefully into his next phase of life.

 I awoke early this morning.  I felt a wave of melancholy. Why? I now know after writing this blog entry.

 I looked out, then up a the brilliant blue sky this morning, here, on Cape Cod. The leaves here that were once green are turning  shades of color—similar to a seasoned artist’s pallet. My neighborhood friend is not here to see this beautiful day unfold. 

Life on earth is a short journey. Take time to notice the change of seasons. Hone in on this four-time-a-year event. When in California, I still see signs of seasons moving from one scene to the next.


Look carefully. It is all there before you. Appreciate the change of season. Most of all, appreciate those around you. They too will be like an autumn leaf–changing color— then passing. We want this display of color to be continuous.

It is not. 

 Look at leaves today. During my friend’s mourning period, I held tight my friend’s mother’s hands. Both hands.  Think of the comment “a short life well lived.”

Look. Listen. Observe. Appreciate.

Brendan Ben Feeney

102 Comments on “The Four Seasons”

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  2. Lynn S. Says:

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