As we created and released the first installment of our Fall ‘17 line, we found ourselves thinking about transitions—the movement between seasons and between stages of life. This time of year brings transitions from summer to fall, from hot to cooler, from ease to activity, from vacation to school, from the lazy river to the cozy campfire.
Rachel Carson, environmentalist and author, makes a monumental call to take better care of our planet in her book, Silent Spring. She begins with a powerful meditation on the significance of transition in nature’s rhythms:
The history of life on earth has been a history of interaction between living things and their surroundings. To a large extent, the physical form and the habits of the earth’s vegetation and its animal life have been molded by the environment. Considering the whole span of earthly time, the opposite effect, in which life actually modifies its surroundings, has been relatively slight. Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species—man—acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world …
It took hundreds of millions of years to produce the life that now inhabits the earth—eons of time in which that developing and evolving and diversifying life reached a state of adjustment and balance with its surroundings … Given time—time not in years but in millennia—life adjusts, and a balance has been reached. For time is the essential ingredient; but in the modern world there is no time.
The rapidity of change and the speed with which new situations are created follow the impetuous and heedless pace of man rather than the deliberate pace of nature.
Carson brings the idea that balance and adjustment require the slow, methodical turning of time, and that we often try to stifle that natural balancing—”in the modern world there is no time.” When we are heedless of nature’s rhythms, we find ourselves feeling fragmented, partial, frozen—as if part of us has been left on the other side of the warp. Yet when we succumb to the unhurried tidal pull of change and transition, we come through whole and satisfied.
This season, let the earth’s deliberate transitions seep into your own. Instead of careening from one moment to the next, impatiently living in the future rather than the present, allow yourself to settle in the current moment. Feel the daily cooling of the temperatures, watch the crimson slowly bloom on the green leaves, savor the quieting of insects and the increasing calls of south-traveling birds. Tune in to your mind and heart turning from one phase to the next, as the moon waxes and wanes imperceptibly each night.