Bring on the bounty! Bring on the pies!
September’s gifts are now piled high.
As she leaves us for another year,
she merrily sings that autumn is here
with all its beauty and all its joys,
given for Earth’s sweet girls and boys.
So kick up your heels and celebrate.
Say, “Thank You, September! You were great!”
Here, September, dear September,
your last flowers open in salute,
small tokens, but pure and from the earth’s
very heart, in gratitude for the gift of the days
you warmed, for the magic you wove,
for the harvest you brought to fruition.
Tuck these in your pocket as you go
to remind you that in our memories
you will always be golden and loved.
Suddenly the earth crunches beneath my feet,
the soft grass covered with newly fallen leaves.
I listen, laughing inside with delight. A year
has gone past since this music last played,
this autumn sound, filled with nostalgia
and crisp, childlike joy.
Let us sing now the ripening of corn,
primeval source of our sustenance,
Earth become fruit to nurture her children,
colored with her ores, her soils, her sands.
Let us sing now with our ancestors
the ancient song of praise,
the great chant of thanksgiving
for the ripening, once more, of the corn.
The afternoon light settles on the creek
with the gentleness of a dove
and sits there, motionless except
for the slight ruffling of its feathers
as the colors of this early autumn day
spill over the rocks, and then rest,
shimmering, beneath the fallen leaves.
When you want a taste of wisdom,
this is a place you can come, this place
where the tall ones rise from the earth
and tower toward the sky. Stand
among them and be still; stillness
is their first gift. Feel how you are rooted
in the earth and formed from it. Feel
yourself breathing in the light and the air.
Notice the dance of the life force
through your veins and the music
of its movement. Notice
how it is not contained within you,
but flows with your breath, carrying
your essence outward into the air
to dance with the essences of grass
and flowers, trees, and ants and birds,
your note forming part of the song.
Watch the trees allow their leaves
to color and fall, the seasons
to change, time to flow. Hear
them breathing the Yes.
Taste its essence in the air,
flowing into you and through you,
in its endless, boundless song.
You can’t go from emerald to crimson overnight.
No great work happens in the blink of an eye.
First you need a vision: Let us paint these woods
in autumn hues. Then you may begin.
And once you have begun, you must keep on.
A swath of red here, a bit of gold there, some orange,
a touch of yellow. Keep on. Hour by hour,
trusting, singing work’s joy, knowing your vision
was born in the Yes and that the Yes
will guide your hand, unfailingly.
Autumn arrived, dipped her brush
in the gold of the afternoon sun,
and painted swaths of the bean field with its hue.
From the field’s far corner, a single maple
flashed crimson hints of things to come
through air alive with cricket song
and the distant cries of migrating geese
Summer signs off with a crystal clear day,
her glowing fields ready for harvest,
her trees easing into their first autumn hues.
Such miracles she wrought, while we were wrapped
in her sunbright spell, dizzy with play and leisure,
mesmerized by afternoons that stretched on and on
and ended in star-strewn skies. Beneath our dreams
she whispered her song: Become, dear ones, become.
And tadpoles turned into frogs, and goslings grew
strong wings and learned to fly. From blossoms
came seeds and fruits and grains. Eggs became birds.
Caterpillars turned into butterflies. And the earth
was filled with abundance and the sky with song.
Now, gliding into the smooth night, summer
takes her leave, her song flowing behind her:
Well done, sweet ones; well done.
Summer is packing her bags now,
saying her farewells, lowering the lights,
gathering her greens, ushering the last
of the songbirds toward the southern horizon.
At night, as she sleeps, autumn tiptoes in,
and smiling at all that she has done,
kisses her forehead and breathes gold
over the land to bless her going.