August stretched a milky curtain across the day as if to soften her going. It muted the colors and gentled the sounds and made us a little sleepy somehow.
Then, just before the sun sank beneath the western hills, it pushed its golden light through the moist layers of clouds. Until then, we hadn’t seen how fully August had colored the trees. Beneath blue skies, the greens had still seemed to prevail.
We stood looking in quiet surprise, and a little breeze wafted past, dropping small leaves, like golden coins, at our feet. As the music of breeze rustled through the trees, we heard the voice of August softly singing. “Farewell, my darlings,” she whispered. “I leave you my love. Farewell.”
How August loved her time on earth! She got to bring summer to its grand green peak, to ride its warm winds, to revel in the glory of its countless rainbow flowers.
By the time she arrived, the people were deeply into summer’s glow. The children played as if the long days would never end. The grown-ups found time for play, too, and for hours of evening leisure. And everyone marveled at lightening bugs and night skies full of glistening stars. And as the days wore on, they feasted on the first fruits of their gardens and fields.
Gradually, August began to cool the evenings, to bring in hints of autumn’s hues. She darkened the greens a bit, and brought out the goldenrod and the first of the asters and mums. She let some of the grasses turn to straw and gave small pots of paints to the elves to dot a few leaves with color.
And today, just as she finished packing her wares and readied the keys for September, she opened her final day lily in one last glad hurrah.
Amidst the turmoil and confusion of the world, islands of peace speak their understanding of our hearts’ deepest dreams. Here, serenity reigns, and morning kisses the world with light.
Here, everything is in balance and love rises as soft as mist. Everything knows its purpose and place; everything belongs and contributes.
The song of it sings to our souls and we recognize its sound. Yes, it sings. Be at peace. You are loved.
The trees breathe the afternoon light. To them, it is all ecstasy – the sun, the sky, the way the winged ones float on the air, their songs, the whispering of their neighbors, the ferns and moss and grass at their feet, the scampering of chipmunks and mice and squirrels.
It is all bliss, one kaleidoscopic turning of jeweled joy dancing through their being and singing the endless beautiful Yes.
Not once, in all the time it was a caterpillar inching itself along, did it imagine what would come next. Not once did it look in envy at the winged ones floating through the sky and wish its gifts were other than they were.
No, it was content and grateful for its smooth caterpillar body, for all of its wonderful joints and legs, for the feast of grasses and leaves that grew so bounteously in its world.
When it woke, after its long sleep, to discover its wings and the lightness of air and the sweetness of nectar from flowers, it was sure that it had gone to heaven. Its days were spent in dreams of song that sang its thanks, and its flight was a flight of sheer joy.
And when it fell again to earth and to sleep, it dreamed of the taste of grass the sweetness of flowers. But never did it imagine what would come next.
The sun, tumbling slowly southward, pours its gold onto the garden. The flowers drink it in until every cell is full. Then, heavy with its warmth, they, too, fall, in golden cascades.
Eventually, it will all seep into the earth, and she will hold it as a treasure. Throughout the long winter, the molten gold will trickle through the soil, beneath the snow, filling it with the Yes that will burst anew in springtime.
But today, in these last weeks of summer, the drunken flowers dance, mad with the joy of being and reeking of gold.
The delicate tree stands, flamingo-like, at the lake’s edge, its muted salmon leaves a surprise against the dark branches of the pines. With its trunk buried in clumps of purple butterfly weed and a bushy white Rose of Sharon, it almost looks as if it is a hold-over from spring instead of fall’s herald.
Yet here on the opposite shore, a few of the maple’s leaves are red-tipped and tell the story. With this first blush of color, August is surrendering summer’s green and preparing the way for September.
And yet, how beautifully her greens still glow, like polished emeralds bathed in clear light.
In all your flights of fancy, in every search you make, may you be at ease. This world was designed wholly for you to satisfy your needs.
The trials, the storms, the disappointments all have their seasons and reason. Be unconcerned; light dwells in your heart.
May your dreams be filled with the freedom of the sky and softened by the hope of a warm breeze. Life is a gift. Unwrap it with joy, and let your heart be glad.
You’re one of a kind, sweetheart. The Great Yes, being infinite, has no need to make copies. Every flake, every drop, is an original note in the song.
So don’t you worry about anybody’s expectations, about meeting anybody’s mark, fulfilling anybody’s shoulds. ‘Cuz you, baby, are exactly what you’re meant to be, perfect even in your flaws.
Just latch on to that music that’s playing in your heart and sing it the best way you can. Then anybody with a bit of soul at all will stop and smile and whisper, “Beautiful!”
This is the land of coyote and hawk, the table that is spread for them as yours is for you.
Beaver feast on the bark of those distant trees that line the creek where frogs and fishes feast on insects, and where raccoon and heron feast on them.
In the fall, the humans will come to find deer and to feast on them with humble thanksgiving.
We are all a part of each other, nourished by the bounteous flesh of the earth in all its forms. We share its waters, its air, and all the molecules that dance themselves into bodies of grass and grain, into butterflies and birds, into coyote and hawk and deer and man.
It is all one circle, spun by the Great Yes, that all things may know life and joy.