Seeds planted

This season calls us to the harvest. Seeds planted long ago create a bounty and fullness in our lives. Autumn invites me to remember the places in my life where I had a dream that once felt tiny and has now grown and ripened into fullness. I savor these places where my life feels abundant. I relish the experience of being nourished by dreams into my own growing wholeness.

The poet Rilke writes of autumn: “Command the last fruits to be full; / give them just two more southern days, / urge them on to completion and chase / the last sweetness into the heavy wine.” We move toward our own ripening and in that journey we let go of what no longer serves us. 

We live in times when it often feels like everything is coming undone. This season reminds us that the journey of relinquishing all we hold dear is also the journey of harvesting. Somehow these two come together year after year. We are invited to rest into its mystery.

What are you releasing that no longer energizes you?

What dreams do you want to harvest this season?

Christing Valter Paintner, Autumn Equinox: Honoring Harvest and Release

Not holding on

Things are continually changing and change in ways that we do not expect. The human tendency is to fix ourselves and each moment into something expected and define it by how it has to be, rather than how it is evolving. The great adventure is to live each moment fully, as a gift which has arrived without us expecting it.

A person who has clarified their real state sees only

each thing,

each thing,

each thing,

and lets go of understanding an underlying nature for each thing.

Dogen, Uji

That magical sense of being at rest

Just a beautiful autumn poem…

Again I resume the long
lesson: how small a thing
can be pleasing, how little
in this hard world it takes
to satisfy the mind
and bring it to its rest.

With the ongoing havoc
the woods this morning is
almost unnaturally still.
Through stalled air, unshadowed
light, a few leaves fall
of their own weight.

The sky
is gray. It begins in mist
almost at the ground
and rises forever. The trees
rise in silence almost
natural, but not quite,
almost eternal, but
not quite.

What more did I
think I wanted? Here is
what has always been.
Here is what will always
be. Even in me,
the Maker of all this
returns in rest, even
to the slightest of His works,
a yellow leaf slowly
falling, and is pleased.

Wendell Berry, Sabbaths 1999, VII for LV

Life bears fruit

Sometimes, things planted many years only make sense and bear fruit much later. Autumn teaches the virtue of waiting:

Ripeness is
what falls away with ease.
Not only the heavy apple,
the pear,
but also the dried brown strands
of autumn iris from their core.

To let your body
love this world
that gave itself to your care
in all of its ripeness,
with ease,
and will take itself from you
in equal ripeness and ease,
is also harvest.

And however sharply
you are tested – 
this sorrow, that great love  –
it too will leave on that clean knife.

Jane Hirshfield, Ripeness

A Saturday walk

 

Do not speak to me of angels 
unless you want to lie by 
their side on the surface of emerald lake 
and live forever with your eyes open. 
My own angels take many forms. 
Today they are trees.

Etel Adnan, born Beruit 1925 Lebanese-American poet