In the deep fall
don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come-six, a dozen-to sleep
inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.
Who else but Mary Oliver can show us the way into the heart of Autumn with lines like “Freshets of wind” and “Tuffets of snow” and that celebratory last line that makes me happy for the piled firewood “Longing to be on its way”?
How do we enter into the change of seasons and especially the transition from summer to autumn? We may begin to notice new weather systems running through our lives as the days grow shorter. How do we settle into the mystery once again, relax with the change, and enjoy it? Do we resist and become nostalgic for the past or embrace the change? Or maybe a bit of both?
I may be from the “Bit of both” camp. Dragging my feet a little I am already lonely for the crickets happy serenade each evening, the back door standing wide open to the dark warm night.
Then turning towards the change like Mary Oliver’s brilliant poem I find the excitement in the overhead shifts and inward shifts. Almost before my eyes, the green ash tree in the corner of the garden has begun to turn from green to brilliant gold right near the top branches. The light has changed to that special autumnal slant and the temperatures have permanently dropped, leaving summer behind.
Two nights ago, we had our first fire of the season in the pot bellied clay chiminea. The Milky Way hung in the moonless night and cold gusts caused us to pull our sweaters a little closer and draw nearer to the fire. Just yesterday, traces of fresh snow appeared on the higher peaks of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains.
Again, like the poem suggests, this noticing can uncover the unique energy Fall is bringing into our lives. It urges us even closer to the beauty of the season.
May we all find our way into our own Song for Autumn!