A turn of the calendar’s page, and here’s September,
come to bridge the seasons, to provide a pathway
into fall. The green of the trees still sings of summer,
but the first of autumn’s leaves have begun to tumble
down, to gather at the edges of streams and roadways.
It happens like that, gradually, so that you hardly notice.
Beneath the bridge, time’s stream flows endlessly on.
The roadsides and woods are strewn now
with towering vines with broad, heart-shaped leaves
and spikes of lacy white flowers.
I think of them as candelabra vines,
afire with the buzz of bees,
their blossoms giving light to late summer’s greens
and welcoming the advent of autumn.
They serve, it seems, as a symbol of transition,
illuminating the pathway from one season
to the next, their hearts green with love,
their blossoms shining light.
Walk into the world trusting.
Even when you don’t know how to go,
each step opens to the next,
and the Yes will guide your way–
tugging your sleeve, posting signs,
singing tunes, ringing bells,
placing stepping stones across the rivers.
Are not the rivers themselves all led
to find their way to the sea?
Here come the baby mums,
the angels sent to close the show,
to sing the flower-world’s closing song
from now until the snow:
May there be friendship; may there be joy.
May there be comfort and hope.
May there be welcome; may there be thanks.
May there be triumph and healing.
May there be love in the center of life,
singing Yes in glad celebration.
Here’s where the deer lie,
sheltered by sycamores,
cooled by the green leaves
of wild, tall sunflowers,
the sun filtering down
to kiss their pelts with warmth.
This is the place they dream of
in winter, the place they sing of
in lullabies to newborn fawns
in early spring when they
lick their soft hair and promise
them tomorrows filled
with flowers and sunshine.
“Certain colors are beautiful together; other colors aren’t.”
That’s what she said, standing before her freshman class
of art students. I remember finding that a curious thing
to say. “Take, for instance,” she continued, “pink and orange.
Each has its own fine qualities, but never, when combined,
can they be considered beautiful”. The students took notes.
I started drawing doodles, tuned her out, fell into dreams.
I thought of her today as I came upon the wildflowers.
I laughed. Tell it to the bees, I thought.
Clearly, I was not the only one who didn’t listen.
An unfamiliar quiet hangs over the lake today,
a kind of waiting for the high-pitched shouts
and laughter that danced over its waves
on every sunny day since June.
The children are gone,
hauled from their homes this morning
in shiny yellow buses to the county’s schools.
I suppose they were filled with excitement
and mostly glad for something new,
for a reunion with old friends,
for moving once again toward grown-up.
But here at the lake, it’s awfully quiet.
I walk its shores and whisper to its waves,
“I know. I know.”
Acres and acres of sunflowers,
more than you could count in a day,
stood in the afternoon sun,
each head, heavy with seeds, bowed
as if in gratitude for the joy
of such production. Overhead,
in a deep blue sky, a single cloud flew,
looking like an angel with outspread
gauzy wings, come to bless them.
And a warm breeze, as light as feathers,
floated across the broad field,
sighing a reverent Amen.
How could you walk here and not be moved
by the harmony that sings from the random
and wild pourings of the life force
onto every inch of available land,
by the juxtaposition of colors and shapes,
the dance of the shadows and light?
Why, it’s as if the Yes knew
that you would be passing by
and chose to leave you its card.