IT IS AUTUMN; the season when Mother Nature taps me on the shoulder to remind me who is in charge. Each year at this time, my childlike fantasies of human dominance wither like spent leaves and tumble to the earth as she busies herself with another inevitable cycle of transformation and renewal.
When I pout, she takes me by the hand, leads me indoors, fluffs up a cushion on a chair near the wood fire, and seats me there to be warmed by the sunlight of seasons past. The fire casts a comforting amber light on Nature’s pure truth. Some primal gene remembers that there are no lies in Nature, no commercial messages or propaganda. Outside, the edgy rap of civilization fades beneath a soothing symphony of rainfall, punctuated by occasional dramatic thunderclaps. Nature has a way of proving her point, and soon there will be only winter silence. In autumn, Nature shows her true colors—and they are beautiful.
Whoever conceived the bungalow understood mankind’s relationship with Nature. They gave us a place to live in harmony with the natural world instead of a temperature-controlled capsule where we could fool ourselves into believing we can manipulate it. Our bungalow homes proudly flaunt that they are part of their landscape—they are from it and of it. Each one nestles into a little piece of its own earth. Broad, furnished porches and scores of windows erase the line where outside stops and inside begins. The eternal stones and living trees of the garden have cousins who live in our inglenooks. Our bungalows greet weather changes naturally, with broad, shading eaves and ventilated gables to help us keep our cool and an open fire to warm our hearts. Bungalow neighborhoods meld diversity and individualism into communities of like-minded souls.
Seasons change. Once our prolific species sprouted, our ability to adapt, modify and dominate natural surroundings permitted us to multiply by the trillions in a logarithmic curve of summer growth. The unique abilities of our species leads us to believe we are the answer instead of the problem. Globally, faces look to illuminated screens for truth. Pensive hours alone in turbocharged automobiles idling in traffic have granted some the wisdom to forbid the pollution of wood fires and insist on higher density use of natural land. Human logic dictates that wasteful gardens be replaced by synthetic boxes full of people. Bungalow neighborhoods and the way of life they offer begin to wither and fall.
It is autumn, and Nature is tapping us on the shoulder. Soon, she will busy herself with another inevitable cycle of transformation and renewal, with or without us. Meanwhile, please come join me by the fireside.
Looking forward to hearing from you,
Issue 90, Summer 2016