Autumn is in full swing in the northern hemisphere. Here in the Tucson area, the morning temperatures are finally dipping into the 60s, while the afternoon highs are in the 80s. While that might seem like summer to some, for us it’s a welcome break from a range of 80–110! Over the past two weeks, I’ve been posting Instagram photos with bright autumn colors—though the subjects are flowers and fruits rather than colorful foliage!

Cycles are inevitable in nature. Seasons change. Light and dark dance together, waxing and waning over the course of the year. My garden is reflecting that change. The temperatures may still be warm, but the waning light has caused many plants to slow their growth and focus instead on ripening in anticipation of an upcoming frost. (While in Tucson that frost might not happen at all, and certainly not until December or January, the genetics in these plants are not operating on any sense of geographic location!) Plants know that life is one long sequence, comprised of seasonal cycles, but too many of us have lost touch with that basic fact.

In this culture, we presume that any trajectory must always move upward. Witness the presumption that the stock market will always rise, incomes will always go u