Don’t let the dark shadows spook you. You carry an inner light.
Trust it and it will guide you through the darkest night.
Life has its scary patches; they’re meant to make us strong.
So whistle your way through the darkness and sing your bravest song.
Then when you get to the other side, you’ll have marvelous tales to tell
Of witches and zombies and monsters who frightened you oh so well!
And you’ll amaze your listeners that you were so very brave;
You stood your ground and kept your faith; they couldn’t make you cave.
Your listeners will applaud you for not giving in to your fright.
They’ll throw you treats for your courage on this long, dark Halloween Night.
The maples held their leaves longer than any tree but the oak (who kept its leathery russet leaves long into the winter). Even so, many had tumbled from their branches to blanket the earth below.
Most of those who were left would sail away on the next rain. But today, they put on their brightest colors to bid October farewell. It was she, after all, who had set them aflame and brought them to their glory.
And so, as she passed through the woods with her loving goodbyes, the maple leaves danced on their branches and sang her their gold, green and crimson farewell. And she paused, and bowed to thank them. And when she turned, they saw small tears of joy welling in her eyes.
As she prepared to take her leave, October made one last visit to the field. The goldenrod was white now and fluffy with seeds that would ride November’s winds.
It held a special place in October’s heart. She loved the way its gold colored the fields and glowed in the long light of the afternoon sun. It was the last of the year’s flowers to go to seed, holding its color and feeding the bees right to the very end.
It looked playful now and reminded her of the snow that would be coming soon.
October drifted above it and caressed it with a gentle breeze, singing her thanks to it for its beauty and inspiration. She confided that she often thought of it as she painted the trees’ golden leaves and the mere thought filled her with joy.
She wanted to leave it with a special token of her love. And so she swept her arms across the field’s breadth and scattered red goodbye kisses that instantly sprouted leaves and danced with laughter at the goldenrod’s feet.
Below, the earth was nestling into the warm dusk. Except for the oak and a few hardy maples, most of the trees had shed their leaves and were preparing for their long winter sleep.
The nocturnal animals were waking now, and setting out for the evening’s hunt. But they were, for the most part, small, and hardly made a sound as they scurried across the fallen leaves.
But up above, mighty winds were sweeping clouds across the sky. Their leading edges were soft and sheer as if the sky were drawing a lavender veil across its face. Even in their depths, they looked powdery and light. Yet they moved at a great speed and began to gather together in growing layers.
And the oak, who had seen many seasons, watched from the edge of the hill, and knew that the sky was spinning dreams of snow.
October saved the russets and oranges for last. The golds and yellows were now nearly gone. But these warm hues would linger, giving comfort as the days turned cold and the earth drifted into its winter dreams.
In the sunshine, they would carry the glow of her love and the memory of her passion. They would soften the fall of the snow and the rain. But mostly they would carry the song of the seasons and the memories of the days when warm winds danced through the trees’ branches and songbirds sang.
And in their sleep, the winter trees would hear their songs and be warmed, and dream of all that could be.
Do not dread the night, my children.
Somewhere, between the night and waking, a golden world shimmers with light. And once you step inside it, everything is possible–everything you can imagine and more.
Close your eyes and let yourself dream. Cavort with the whales, have lunch on the moon, go sailing with your True Love through the Milky Way. Gaze into the magic mirror and see who you can be, and remember, anything is possible.
The light is quickly fading, dear ones. Make a wish and feel my kiss on your sweet closed eyes. Sail far and high, into the golden world, where everything is possible and all your best wishes come true.
Even among rocks, the Yes will sow its seed. It embraces the harsh places as fully as the pleasant. Nothing escapes its welcome or its care.
It hurls itself jubilantly into every crack and crevice. It snaps up every opportunity, no matter how feeble or small.
It wastes nothing. It claims all as its own. Even you. Even me.
There is no separation here. Tree, rock, water, light, leaf, soil, sand are only words, artificial distinctions.
Within each, infinitesimally small particles dance in and out of endless space. It is we who give their choreography meaning, we who give them number and name.
Thus we play in their endless spaces, as they play in ours. The fact of the matter is that there is no separation. There’s only the ecstasy of the dance.
When the curtain of rain lifted, the set was entirely changed. Only some remnants of color remained.
Now ghostly bare trees peppered the hills, and the creek bank, so lately full of sunflowers, was lined with bleached cattails and grasses turned from green to fawn.
From somewhere deep in the woods a crow’s call pierced the air and a cold, damp breeze carried leaves to the creek below.
Aside from that, everything was perfectly still. You could sense that something large and dark was coming, and you found yourself waiting, wide-eyed, with secret glee.
The one and only you is only here once. Right now, in this particular time. And remember: tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone.
Find those things that make your heart beat with the richness of being, the things that bring you pleasure and contentment, that thrill you, that make you melt or laugh.
Then rope them in and ride them across this wondrous day, and at its end, know that your hours were well-spent.