September 22, 2017

the secret hearts of autumn

That time of year has come, the red-gold time, when people begin speaking of Nature dying. It is of course spring down here at the far end of the earth, but most of my reading circles comprise northerners, for whom Nature has begun to turn applewise, cold, slightly haunting. I have begun seeing poetic reminders that autumn and winter teach us about death within life.

But I myself believe the opposite. It seems to me autumn is the season of birthing. Plants send their seeds on the air, into the soil, and through fruit and nuts, to hopefully grow future plants. These tiny dark hearts wrapped in layers and baffles are like the great secrets of wisdom and magic hidden in old Eastern fairytales, only this story is the richest and most beautiful of all.

Plants also shed leaves for their own little bit of earth in anticipation of new life to come, ensuring that while they lie pregnant in the winter dark they will be nourished by their own rot. As the year deepens, we watch them go into a confinement in which all their energy is focussed on the growth within. To us it looks like death because we are seeingly selfishly. We are caring only that the plants have nothing to give us. But within the earth, where their existence is the richest, plants are busy with life.

I suppose I could say something now that applied this to human experience also. Creativity happens also in silence, or some such. But that's just more selfishness. The life of plants is not unfolded as a lesson for me. Better than that - it is an opportunity for companionship, empathy, neighbourliness.

ps, it took me hours to set up yesterday's template, only for me to realise today that most people would be following direct links and so they missed entirely the interesting front page which is what actually inspired me about the template. Reverting to this currently look has inspired a quiet train of thought about something I might like to do with this webspace, a new focus, and just in time for the equinox. Look for changes to come in the days ahead.

September 21, 2017



And here is the rain again, floating down with such a gentle voice, the way the sea sounds some mornings, coming up on to the earth: reverent. I like that today is subdued, a little rainy, reverent; it seems just right for the traditional day of observation for Ostara, the spring equinox, which comes officially (astronomically) on Saturday here. The earth is a pregnant bride and her lover treats her with wonder and care.

His soul still went on tip-toe before her, lest the charm be shattered 
and the dream dispelled.

LM Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams

All the rain that's fallen lately has been a soft lesson in love and convenience. I want to go out - but it's raining, so I can not. This is inconvenient ... but how can I be upset when it's raining, which I so dearly love? Love is worth sacrifices. Infact, in the sacrifices you may find even greater depths of value. It's a sacrifice of time to make bread by hand for your family. But that time can be used for contemplating each of your children, and wishes for them can be braided into the dough, and your heart may ease into a calm and healthy rhythm like the kneading of the dough, the dreaming of love, the being in reverence for life.

 People talk of sacrifice as if it's something they nobly take on, but more often than not I experience sacrifice as a gift which blesses me.

 image credit

September 19, 2017

on a peaceful spring evening

It is the late cusp of the day. My front door is open to golden light and old soft tranquility and not even the slightest breeze. Birdsong is strewn through the peace. It's such a lovely last hour to a lovely sea-scented day.

True, the rooms of my house are hazy with smoke because I burned dinner, but I don't mind. It doesn't spoil the contentment; infact, it some ways it is actually an addition to the contentment: it could be fixed with a new dinner and all the windows opened and no need to get upset. I'm finally learning in my deepening age that very few things warrant getting upset. Why waste this precious spring evening being distressed by a charred pot? I have baking soda to clean it, and a sunset to watch.