Walking in the woods of Eliza Howell Park recently, I was noting how far advanced the trees are in acquiring their winter bare-branches look. It is November and trees are becoming dormant for the winter.
Walking in the woods alone can be a time for reflection. As I approached the log of a tree that had fallen at least 10 years ago (one that I have watched slowly returning to earth over that decade), I focused on the fact that trees not only go dormant for the winter but they also die. Over the 14 years that this park has been my nature study area, I have seen many trees die and fall.
The tree in the next picture fell fairly recently and is now beginning to decompose.
Long-lived species can live many years, but they do die. Perhaps we could say that they reach the November of their lives when they about 5/6 of their life expectancy.
Perhaps this maple is in the November of its life?
If we were to live to be 90 (a long life), 75 is the beginning of our November. This would put me in the November of my life.
Humans are a long-lived species, but we have a limited lifetime. While we do not live indefinitely, life goes on. As we age, many of us think of the legacy, the contribution to future generations, we are leaving.
In another location in Eliza Howell Park, there is a young tree growing out of a rotting stump, a new tree of a different species from the stump.
This might be a good image to reflect upon in terms of the legacy that we can leave: a place for others to grow and thrive, whoever they may be.
There is much to be observed and learned on nature walks in Eliza Howell Park. At times, this leads to reflections about our own lives. This is one such occasion.