The trail is dappled with light
and shadow, its grasses
mottled with the brown
of fallen sycamore leaves
that crunch beneath my boots.
I breathe in the dried green
of the leaves, remnants
of summer. They taste
of nostalgia as their fragrance
fills me. All too soon
these laden branches
will be bare and cold winds
fill the air. But today
is warm and a lemony light
pours down just ahead,
waiting to bathe me
Looking back on this September,
in the year of 2017, you may think
of firestorms and hurricanes, of lives
destroyed or irrevocably changed.
And you may be tempted
to let sorrow overwhelm you.
Life is always tenuous, and danger
often near. Our lessons in compassion
come with a great price. But
may you also remember, when
you think back on this time,
that its days also held golden leaves
and sunflowers dancing to the song
of a gentle breeze, and that,
as she was leaving, September
left blue stars shining from the grass,
love notes to remind you
that life goes on, and you
are precious and loved.
Humans don’t come here,
to this hallowed ground
that, all summer, was the bed
of a lake, covered in water
three feet deep where ducks
and terns swam and raised
their young among the rushes.
The only footprints at all
are hooved ones. So I walk
with reverence and care,
filled with wonder at the sight
of it, of this magical expanse,
so transformed, as it stretches,
so revealed, in the afternoon light
of the late September sun.
Autumn’s flags wave from the trees.
The woodland’s floor wears
its first layer of fallen leaves, who,
when a breeze passes by, flutter
like a convention of butterflies
meeting to trade stories
of their flights. And so,
the dance goes on, the dancers
giddy in their twirling, their
flamboyant new costumes
shining in the afternoon sun,
exposing to all the world
the fire in their souls.
One of the things I know
about Mom Nature is she
surely loves her colors.
She could have quit at blue,
having painted the sky and sea,
and left it at that. Slight
differences in texture and shape
might have been enough
to grant everything its individuality.
But no. I think she must have heard
the one-of-a-kind song that each
thing sings and got inspired to give
them yet another way to play it.
Bright and dark, mellow and wild,
subtle and bold, and everything
in between. Just for the joy of it.
Just to give life a little more spice.
The soybeans, ready for harvest,
have turned the fields to gold.
I count myself lucky to have seen them,
glowing like this, from across the lake.
By the next time I stand here
they will be gone, and the foliage
on the lake’s bank faded. But today,
here it is, a sweep of color,
dancing to the autumn song
Know who you are and claim it.
Be bold, and daring and free.
Spread your wings, call your call.
Know the taste of liberty.
Let nothing contain you but truth.
Allow your spirit to soar.
Though winds may roar, be brave
and true. Be bold, and daring,
When the world seems to be
falling all around you, get
to higher ground. A new
point of view can change
everything. Where there
were obstacles, spaces
occur. Pathways appear.
Signs emerge to point you
in the right direction.
And letting go of your
confusion, you may see
that it’s all quite beautiful
Your first inkling was a tingling
and, I suppose, a warmth, followed
by an irrepressible urge: Move. Reach.
Imagine the bursting through, the moment
you found yourself enveloped in the light!
And still, the urge remaining, intensified
somehow: Move. Reach.
Then the long struggle: cold, heat, drought,
rain, wind and absolute stillness.
And all the time the light returning
with its irresistible song, so strong
that you kept your face in its direction.
Mornings of dew and birdsong.
Nights of stars and the traveling moon.
Reach. Move. And now,
this great unfolding, these brilliant
petals, this storehouse of seeds
standing as a record of your journey,
and as your crown.
So easily the seasons weave
their threads together. Summer,
on this, her final full day, gives the last
of her green. Autumn stitches in
the rust of fallen leaves, bits
of yellow, some sparks of red.
And all of it, tied by golden sunlight,
paints a tapestry of remembrance
for days gone by, of promise
for days of splendor yet to come.