Golden leaf falling week has arrived. The unleaving of the trees. The deep mystery of surrender.
The golden forest appears to have decided that this color is to be the theme for the year; I can imagine the trees conspiring last winter, planning to overawe us with the glow of gold. Beeches and Birches, Poplars and Maples, Hazelnut and Witchhazel glow in the gloaming with yellows. This year, every where I look, golden leaves wave and swirl, showering us in grace.
And to think that the leaves, who have been busily pursuing the works of greening all summer have hidden this secret behind the veil of chlorophyll. I am so glad they let us in on this secret, before the big release of their summer work. Before the mighty winds pull the many-hued friends off their branches and down to the decomposing duff below.
On some Autumn days, the swirling golden leaves lifts my spirits to wonder and joy, when I feel eager to join the performance, to see what textured tableau may be around the corner, eager to participate in the joy and beauty and connection with every step.
Then there are days,
when even though the children may laugh while raking the leaves into piles, and the grey clouds contrast the beauty of the colors,
when I feel lost.
I feel the loss of the leaves as a parting of friends. I feel the finality of the browning colors. I feel the changing hues reminding me of the very temporal nature of life ~ mine, yours, nature's and the Earth's herself. A bounty perceived moments earlier, can inexplicably become like compost drifting through my fingers. When the unleaving becomes the leaving.
I was pondering such extremes when a friend sent me the poem called Lost.
Maybe you have heard it read by Pádraig Ó Tuama? on Poetry Unbound? Maybe this is the first time you have heard it. I would be eager to hear what you hear when he reads. Feel free to comment below.
When I listened, I heard the voice of the forest speaking to me, saying,
Do Stand still.
Do Stand still long enough to find yourself Here.
I have made Here around you. Here, where the center unfolds endlessly, easefully, around you, into waves of love from a center that knows kiself.
Stand still and notice, listen. Then you may find more than the feelings about your feelings.
And in that moment, you will feel connection. The connection.
And I felt the mystery within the connection to life. I felt the gift of one sentient being offering a hand to another on this path..
I felt the Deep Ecology of when we feel the connection to our place and to the earth's cycles. When we can dance with the center, and then let it all go.
~ let me be part of this temporal cycle of life,
~ let me be a part of the growing and dying,
~ let me give myself away to become part of the nutrients of this soil for new life
~even these words, let them be recycled and become compost for you ~
in stories - not the first time we met, not the last,
a time in between, our moment here is small.
I am too - a worldly thing among wordly things-
one part per seven billion. Make me smaller still.
Repurpose my body. Mix me with soil and seed,
compost for a sapling, make my remains useful,
wondrous. Let me bloom and recede, grow,
and decay. Let me be lovely
yet temporal, like memories, like mahogany."
(From Gloria Mundi, by Michael Kleber-Diggs, in Worldly Things)