Autumn Arrival

I have so wanted to write all week - but this was my first full week back to my regular teaching schedule - and it was filled with wonders, and blessings, and unexpected sorrows and occurrences as well...

Twice, in this past week, I woke up to fog and with a cup of coffee in tow, headed very quickly before the start of my busy day to the river. On both occasions, the water spilled into the sky, and the heavens melted into the river - so seamlessly that no discernible or tangible boundaries or edges between the two was evident.

"And God said, Let there be a firmament
in the midst of the waters,
and it divide the waters from the waters.

And God made the firmament,
and divided the waters
which were under the firmament
from the waters which were
above the firmament: and it was so.

And God called the firmament Heaven.
And the evening and morning were
the second day.

And God said, Let the waters under the heaven
be gathered together unto one place,
and let the dry land appear: and it was so.

And God called the dry land Earth;
and the gathering together of the waters
called the Seas: and God saw that it was good."
~ Genesis 1:6 - 10

The blending of the skies, the river, and the land - reminded me - that everything and everyone is simply one - we are all made of the same substance, by the same One, in Whom we are all one. And yet, it is something we simply forget all of the time...

I was not able, on either one of these days to paddle in the river, though my heart so yearned to come into the river and bless myself in its sanctified waters, and my soul desired to lose itself in this breathtaking and endless sea of gray without borders or markers of any kind...

It was not to be. Instead, I plunged into the many activities and responsibilities awaiting me, on this first week of returning to work, culminating with the commencement of the autumn season.

It was a week filled with flats, and replacing tires on two sets of cars - of tragic news received from a dearly beloved friend, perhaps an ominous arrival of something predicted many years before - though hope prevails and may ultimately triumph - through the gift and healing of many prayers offered.

It was a week that witnessed the reunion of three mystical souls, marked by the auspiciousness of a rainy day, as we feasted our senses in a delightful art exhibition, followed by fellowship and lunch, where each one of us resonated with shared pain and sorrow. In the midst of spoken and unspoken prayers, we simply reclaimed another world.

It was a week filled with so much busyness converging on life and encroaching on stillness from every possible corner - and so filled with thoughtfulness and meaning, and gentle reminders, that now is the the only time there is to simply be present - to ourselves and to each other...

And so, I leave you with two quotes I read this morning, and two wonderful reminders of the gift of autumn. Though, I did not make it into the river this week,

"The voice of the river
that has emptied into the Ocean
now laughs and sings
just like God."
~ Hafiz

"May little blessings grow
into waves of grace."

Fall Song

Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,

the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back

from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere

except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle

of unobservable mysteries - roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This

I try to remember when time's measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn

flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay - how everything lives, shifting

from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.
~ Mary Oliver ~


O Lord, it is time
The summer was so vast
Put your shadows on the sundials
And in the fields let the wind loose.

Order the last fruits to become ripe
Give them two more sunny days
Push them to fulfillment
And force the last sweetness
into the heavy wine.

He who has no house now will not build one
He who is alone will be so
for a long time to come
Will stay awake, read,
write long letters
And restlessly walk in the park
among the blown leaves.

~ Ranier Maria Rilke


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