The leaves on the trees are changing colour into rich reds, golds, yellows and browns, before falling to the ground in St. James Park. Their decay will mix into the loam and fertilize the soil to feed the trees again, as well as the grass and flowering plants when they emerge next year. This incredibly ancient ritual—Autumn paving the way for Winter—continues blindly while a makeshift tent city grows as more people join the Occupy Toronto movement. There are sleeping tents, kitchen tents, media tents, and portable toilets steadily filling the park, as protesters camp out under the falling leaves.
As I walked by the park the other day and saw this scene, I was struck by the ephemeral nature of human issues; however real and important and stressful they may seem to us in the moment. No matter what happens with this protest, no matter what the effect of this movement on human affairs, the leaves will keep changing colour and the seasons will turn, long after the signs of the protesters’ fleeting presence have disappeared.