December, 2021.

Look at this one.” My mother says to me, extending her arms toward me to display her treasure. A bouquet of gemstones, iridescent and gleaming even in the scant light of the overcast day.

Look at THIS one!” I respond, placing another treasure into her bouquet.


We stood under the layers of clouds, rotating fresh corn in our hands and marveled at each new pattern and colour. One by one, revealing a story beneath the husks. I wasn’t certain of the kind of corn we had planted. It was an unmarked seed package that bestowed upon us what seemed like a million colours. A million gemstones. Rich in the palette of autumn.

We sunk digging forks into the soil in search of our next treasure; potatoes. This summer was my first time growing them. The relationship I gained while doing so was surprising. Witnessing their blooming was utterly charming. Witnessing their decay was similar. Trusting that they would continue to grow under their little mounds, out of sight.

We ate lots of early potatoes as the summer waned. I watched my partner one morning from the window as he stepped out to the garden in the fragile light. Barefoot and squatting in the greenery, choosing one plant that may be willing to offer our breakfast. Clearing away a little mulch and soil to retrieve just enough for our meal. Stopping for a moment of thanks before bringing them in to clean in the sink.

Now I stood in an empty garden bed, a bucket of potatoes unearthed. Autumn feels like that to me; an abundance and an emptiness. A direct example of reciprocity. An opportunity to recognize how we collaborate with the earth in such a clear and tangible way. Where once there was soil, now has returned to soil, and, miraculously, I carry this bucket of potatoes.


It was spring when I began my apprenticeship work with Penelope. While we spent time in the sanctuary, our conversations would whirl with personal anecdotes and philosophy. For some time, death was our muse. For days, nearly everything we did seemed to shine with the beauty of death and, in effect, start a passionate conversation. How death is a portal, a ceremony, an honour. If we can imagine that Winter may represent death, Autumn would be our chariot to take us there. There’s something mournful about the slowness of the Autumn months.

Come Winter, a season of inward incubation. Maybe a return to the womb, to emerge in spring reincarnated. That’s how I like to see winter, though it may be daunting. I always know that after months of a dark, deep freeze, I begin to daydream longingly of touching plants, swimming in water, feeling the sun. And yet I trust, as I trusted the potatoes to grow out of sight, that come spring the world would transform into lushness again. Truly a miracle, for the earth itself to be resurrected.

Socrates said “death itself may be the greatest of all human blessings”. While his friends wept for him in his dying he asked them to not cry, for he was at last meeting the greatest mystery of all.


What mystery are you meeting this winter?

I read a wonderful passage written by Italo Calvino in his book The Complete Cosmicomics. I’d like to leave you with it and hope that you may savour it. I do think that winter is our time of implosion.


To explode or to implode — said Qfwfq — that is the question: whether ’tis nobler in the mind to expand one’s energies in space without restraint, or to crush them into a dense inner concentration and, by ingesting, cherish them. To steal away, to vanish; no more; to hold within oneself every gleam, every ray, deny oneself every vent, suffocating in the depths of the soul the conflicts that so idly trouble it, give them their quietus; to hide oneself, to obliterate oneself: perchance to reawaken elsewhere, changed.

Changed… In what way changed? And the question, to explode or to implode: would one have to face it again? Absorbed by the vortex of this galaxy, does one pop up again in other times and other firmaments? Here sink away in cold silence, there express oneself in fiery shrieks of another tongue? Here soak up good and evil like a sponge in the shadow, there gush forth like a dazzling jet, to spray and spend and lose oneself. To what end then would the cycle repeat itself? I really don’t know, I don’t want to know, I don’t want to think about it: here, now, my choice is made: I shall implode, as if this centripetal plunge might forever save me from doubt and error, from the time of ephemeral change, from the slippery descent of before and after, bring me to a time of stability, still and smooth, enable me to achieve the one condition that is homogeneous and compact and definitive. You explode, if that’s more to your taste, shoot yourselves all around in endless darts, be prodigal, spendthrift, reckless: I shall implode, collapse inside the abyss of myself, towards my buried centre, infinitely. “


Moon and Grass

Photos provided by Serena Mor