Vigor, or energetic life force, is a difficult meditation while surrounded by the efforts of trees and squirrels to go quiet and still for the season.
There’s a red oak behind my apartment balcony that is gradually starting to earn its name. There will be a short few days soon where the whole tree will fight the sunset for brilliance and beauty, until the sunrise will beat them both with a hard, dusty wind whistling down from the north. The leaves will be whipped away with more thoroughness and force than I use to sweep my kitchen, and then there will be only bare gray branches until the warm damp winds from the ocean return.
This meticulous sweeping away of spring and summer pushes the cycles forward, tells those who need it to rest, and others to ready themselves for vague threats of frost and freezing rain. It is much faster than green spring buds that transform over weeks, less lethargic than the sprays of summer flowers waiting and waiting and waiting for bees and butterflies.
It is with the onset of winter that we truly see the vigor and energy of Nature ever at work.