Isn’t what the poets say? Live full out, right to the last minute. Go out in a blaze; give it all you’ve got.
You don’t get there without practice. August knew. She poured it on. She was present, every moment, making the very best of all that came her way.
She knew her mission. She gave it her attention. She gave it her care.
Shout the Yes. That’s what she was all about. And didn’t she do it gloriously!
Don’t let that prickly edge fool you, or those sharp thorns. Sometimes you have to look beyond the surface to learn what’s at the heart of things.
The gruff, the rough and tumble, the ones that are always on the defense have dreams inside them, too, as fair as yours and mine, and as tender.
As long as injustice walks the world, there must be warriors. As long as there is cruelty, someone must have the courage to raise a protective sword.
Let us rise; this is our moment.
Let us sing forth our yes to the sky.
Celebration is the purpose of our being, the central why for which we came.
Now, while the great sun is deep in the sky, while the afternoon breezes play, let us dance our joy.
Let us reach and stretch and bend and sway in gladness.
Just to be here!
Just to be!
Water lilies lie parched and drying on the sand. Across the lake’s shallow waters, silver maples turn their leaves heavenward, praying for rain. We make judgments, saying it has been too dry. What do we know?
Standards broader than our own rule the cosmos. Our perspectives are woefully narrow. Life will go on whether this moment meets our desire for comfort or not, whether it meets our measures of perfection.
Hush the childish prattling of your mind. See with your heart instead. Watch the heron lift into the air, sparkling drops showering from its wings. Listen to the grasses sing with joy.
All is as it should be. And you are deeply loved, even when your eyes are blind.
It’s not that difficult to change things—an attitude, a season, a culture, a life.
Mostly it’s a matter of knowing how you want things to go, to look, to be, and then moving in their direction.
One note after another, the composer writes a symphony. One pigment at a time, autumn paints her scene.
Oh, they don’t always know which note is the right one, which hue. It’s all a grand game. Holding the vision, you make your best guess. If one doesn’t work, try another.
The key is just to keep going, to listen to the vision as it sings its own song, to let it guide you.
Do that, and in the end it all works out—often, more magnificently than you ever dreamed.
As the final week of her visit began, August dipped her brush in citron. She spread a wide swath of it across the dried floor of the wetlands, hiding the ducks’ blue pools behind the reeds. They didn’t mind. They, too, would soon be leaving.
Then she took her olive and umber and swept it across the trees and the brush. It was all coming along nicely.
The thistles were sending their dream seeds out on their silken feathers, and the milkweed pods were growing fat. The trees were beginning to dot the ground with fallen leaves, and they rustled now with a certain crispness when the afternoon breeze danced through.
There were flowers enough to make the place cheerful. Wild sunflowers were feeding the beetles and bees. And the white chamomile and purple butterfly weed still blossomed brightly. The berries and sumac were ripening, too. Yes, this would do.
August stood back to survey the scene and nodded, pleased with her work. A touch of gold and red on a leaf here and there, and all would be ready for September.
She sighed with satisfaction and poured herself a cup of tea, recalling all she had done here, and savoring the sweetness of the memories with a soft, contented smile.
With passion beyond measure, the Great Yes breathed the fire of life. Across the worlds it sailed in countless sparks, animating them.
Each form capable of holding the fire received its own spark, all of them partaking of the nature of the Great Yes and burning with its love, yet each wondrously unique in its destiny and expression.
And as the forms awakened and began to sing the songs of love, the spark within their souls grew brighter and stronger. And the forms felt their purpose, and surrendering to it, became beautiful.
So subtly August turns us from summer to fall, sliding the sun from its zenith, inching the pool of night to nearer and nearer shores almost without notice.
There on the hill, the first blush of crimson creeps onto the maple leaves. The young geese grow restless as their first migration nears.
The tillers of the land begin to bring in the first fruits of the harvest, and scents we haven’t known for a year drift from doorways, smelling like home.
And we who believed that summer would stretch on forever find that it’s changed now, its green nearly gone. Oh, so subtly August turns us; so deftly she ushers us on.
This is the place where breezes are born, rising as song from the leaves of the trees. The breath of the wildflowers feeds them. The sun gives them warmth; the shade cools them.
They carry the emerald wishes of foliage: Thrive, and be filled with joy. Take comfort in our caresses as we whisper past. Inhale the ease of our being.
They’re filled with the melodies of birds, with the fragrances of wood, of flowers, of fern. They come to lift you into the realm of peace and well-being. They come to tell you that you are known and dearly loved.
Let there be gentleness in your day, for there is suffering in the world. Trail words of kindness as you go, to soothe the wounded hearts hiding everywhere around you.
The Great Yes scatters the steeps with tender flowers and sets sparkling stars in the darkness of night. Follow their examples. Give comfort and hope; shine with light.
The din of the world can be harsh and loud, and many cower in fear. But the Great Yes whispers in stars and small flowers, “Be at peace; you are loved.” Hear its whisper; sing its song.