The leaves fall to the creek floor
like careless drops from the brush of some artist.
Splattering the rocks with rust and bronze,
pale yellow and shades of green, they and the creek
make a painting of their own. But this is no accident.
There’s nothing careless here. It took eons
to produce this scene, time beyond measure.
All for this moment, this one breath of a day,
when the light and the air were just so,
and it was early September.
Here, standing on a rock in the center of the steam,
I am no longer separate from all that surrounds me,
but breathing its breath, joined with its rhythms,
one with its solidity and flow, its steadiness and dance.
Here, beneath these graceful trees, standing on a rock
on the surface of the world, I am one eruption
of the planet’s life, the same as the leaves and fishes,
the ants, the snails, the birds, each of us witnessing
in our own way as we spin around a star at the edge
of a galaxy, dancing through Mystery, yet sure somehow
that we belong and were meant to be, precisely here,
exactly now, and that now goes on forever.
The summer earth and summer sky are one now.
The sun rises in gold flowers, reaching toward the blue.
Chicory, the color of sky, reaches toward the sun.
And the sky falls into the waters and swims
with the greens that both fall below and rise.
And it’s all one breath, rising, falling, and all
one song of joy and celebration, endlessly singing Yes.
Last night I saw two fireflies dancing through the woods,
all the more precious now that the thick waves of them
that flickered through the trees are finished for the season.
The evening’s first stars glimmered overhead, visible
even though the last wisps of gold hung in the western sky.
And the songs of frogs and crickets floated on earth’s breath,
mixing with its perfume. I slept wrapped in the sweetness.
And when I woke, the world had been transformed,
the night’s soft light exchanged for a shimmer of dew,
its tiny globes sparkling from every emerald blade of grass.
Such gifts, so freely given! The wondrous, velvet nights,
and all the glistening mornings.
I walk along this golden creek, through this season so brief and beautiful, and think of you.
Who knows which breath will be our last? Our lives are as fleeting as the colors of this day, as easily washed into memory.
But while we live, let us live richly. Like this amazing afternoon, let us shine our gold and sing our colors to the sky. And when we go, may the glow of our being linger in the hearts and minds of all whose lives we touched, and may they be better and more joyous for having known our laughter and our kindness and our love.
Beyond the clouds, the blue sky reaches to infinity. Beneath them, gold dances in the fields. And the wind’s song plays and the sun shines through, and all that was heavy and dark gives way to radiant glory.
As above, so below, my child. Clouds move on.
Their shadows are no match for the great singing breath of the Yes or for its light.
Don’t be afraid. You are loved. Be like the goldenrod; dance, even in the darkness.
May was pleased as she made her final tour of the forest and meadows, the lakes and lawns and fields.
Her beautiful flower children were like pieces of the rainbow, gleaming from every corner of the earth. She so loved them, not only for the color and fragrance that they added to the world, but for the part they played in life’s web. For in fact, life could not go on without them.
But most of all, May was grateful for the grand sweep of green that she had called forth on this beloved planet. It was the green, more than anything else, that sustained life. And how fond she was of the softness and variety of its hues. It complemented every flower. It provided cool relief to the eye from summer’s brightness. It was the magic within each leaf. Its breath was the breath of all creatures of the land. It nourished their bodies and refreshed their souls. And now, here it was, dense and luxurious, May’s gift.
“Let there be green!” she sang in joy as she floated above the land. “Let there be endless, wondrous green!” And so it was.
For all her gaudy colors, autumn keeps her muted corners, too. Here, the fish hide, the rabbits and deer find refuge.
This is space for contemplation, for letting thoughts quietly embrace the inexorable flow of seasons, their rise, their fall. Here, you merge with the pulse of them, with the rhythm of the planet’s breath.
Here, you gaze on Earth’s innumerable children, each one distinct and a part of the whole, each with its own story, each a note in endless, golden song.
Here, in this muted corner, that song fills the spaces and breathes the awesome, holy Yes.
The sound rolled through the tops of trees on the top of hill. I listened in the darkness, holding my breath.
This was no ordinary wind. It was the thunder of a thousand white lions racing across the sky. I could see them in my mind, their broad paws swimming through the clouds, whipping them into a frenzy. Their flowing manes were as white as moonlight, their outstretched limbs as broad as trees.
And as they flew in a ghostly train just above the woods, their breath turned to crystal in the cold air and left a great wake behind them. And it floated down, down through the trees, coating every branch, every twig below.
When daylight came, all was silent. Perhaps, I thought, it was all a dream. But pulling back the curtain, I saw the forest, shimmering with the breath of white lions.
March reduces the landscape to its essential forms. Subtleties emerge. Contours become clear, lines apparent.
She studies the rise and fall of it, and the music of its patterns begins to sing deep within her.
She listens intently, surrendering herself to it, seeking to become one with its song.
Only when it fills her completely, when it becomes her breath and motion, will she be prepared to begin the work before her, to bring forth spring.