I’ve posted photos of this sky before, and it seems to be turning into a bit of a series. The photos are taken somewhere I visit regularly, and at the same time in the evening, so are a good illustration of the seasons as they change. Now the nights are starting to draw in, the leaves burning with autumn colours. Soon it will be full circle again, back to the original image I took.
When I was in high school, I had an Ancient History professor called Mr. Mawson. He was always dapper in jacket and tie, his beard silver, his tone dignified. He had two sayings that he used often – one was, ‘Don’t be sorry, be on time.’ That one is self-explanatory, I think. The other was, ‘Look at the tree.’ This was a little less obvious. When he said it, he would gesture to the tree outside our second-floor classroom, and we would all look at the tree. There would be a moment of silence, then he would go back to discussing Sparta or Corinth or some other city-state, as though nothing had happened.
I never really knew why he said that. We all talked about it, of course. ‘What is the deal with the tree?’ I wondered whether it was to remind us of the impermanence of things, a commentary that everything comes to an end, just like the mighty civilisations he taught us about, their cities and accomplishments returning to dust. Or perhaps it was to mark the passing of the seasons, a reminder that time was marching on, taking us with it. I never asked him, and I wish I had.
And now, as I take pictures of the same tree through the seasons, I wonder if it was just about observation. But I guess I’ll never know.