She walked alone in the woods today,
the wind following her with its whispers.
She climbed up the steep slope,
finding spots of bare earth to plant her feet
in a slippery sea of fallen leaves.
She found her favorite stone outcropping,
sat and closed her eyes.
Breathing slowly and deeply
she received a vision of
great warmth and delight,
a future that waits for her
willingness to let the past go.
The cold began to seep in
and she carefully picked her way
here and there along the downward slope,
superimposing the future vision
upon the present matrix,
thinking thoughts of integration.
the sky a light silver-gray,
oak leaves orange brown,
maple leaves red,
bald cypress defiantly remaining green.
Crows muttering to one another,
and a tender breeze stirring
what was inanimate
into graceful gestures of surrender and flow.
How could I possibly regret my past
given that it brought me such
a shockingly beautiful
and stunningly simple
Ah…I have some time and space to myself
and the presence of mind to feel grateful for it.
The autumn wind blows.
I can hear the windchime just outside my door.
Its ringing says, Now. Now. Now. Now.
A part of me wants to check out and go back to sleep.
A part of me wants to stay awake and be productive.
A part of me knows my body is hungry.
A part of me doesn’t want to bother stopping to eat.
What should I do?
The autumn wind blows.
The wind chime keeps ringing Now. Now. Now. Now.
Maybe I’ll just step outside
and let the wind caress my hair, my face.
I don’t need to think about what’s next;
I can flow through this moment
and appreciate what it offers.
When my mind isn’t cluttered with
what I should do,
I can enjoy life being done through me.
What causes the autumn wind
to rush through the forest
stirring the leaves,
breaking their fragile connection
to the spent moments of yesterday,
that they might flutter down to the earth
and experience new life in their death and decay?
It is in their letting go of the past
that they receive the promise of this new moment.
They cannot hold their form in death;
it melts away and feeds new life,
and this is the way of all things.
In the autumn of your life,
can you turn to look
at how you’ve been nourished by the Tree of Life?
Can you gracefully surrender the diversions of youth,
breaking free of your bonds, fluttering down,
allowing your form to be used by the earth,
making way for the promise of what will come?
bringing cool air, wind,
and the promise of change.
As the days grow shorter
and the nights longer,
as nature slows down
and prepares for winter,
could I slow down too?
Could I take time
to go inwards, reflect,
see where I’ve been
and decide where I’m going?
Could I look ahead at life to come,
and choose to believe in the possibility
that after this long, dark night,
Spirit has a beautiful spring planned,
just waiting for my awakening?
A day of pleasure,
from one thing to the next
Breakfast with kids
then long meditation
a walk in the warm autumn woods
sitting and reading by the stream
some preparation to take kids out
for playground and picnic
then ten minutes of restorative yoga
Now, kids about to get off the bus
and I feel calm and happy.
This day is heaven on earth.
The season of giving is upon us
And I think about forgiveness.
Is this the gift I’ve been seeking?
Forgiveness means freedom
to be who I am
to grant others the space
to experience their autonomy,
to move in this world naturally
without pretense or planning or airs.
I take a breath and for one moment
I cease running from my fears.
There’s a cold wind blowing
and the last leaves scatter
leaving the tree naked and bare.
Let the season of giving begin,
I was walking across a parking lot today
when movement up above caught my eye.
Looking up into the bright blue,
cold, clear autumn sky
I saw a gorgeous hawk
circling slowly overhead.
Transfixed, I stopped,
struck by the graceful
stretch of wings
and the way the bird
was allowing itself to float
on invisible circles of air.
What if we could do that?
I asked myself.
Don’t we all have to stretch
before we can fly?
I wondered what would happen
if I stretched myself like this,
and allowed myself
to be buoyed up
by the invisible forces
that constantly move me.
How about when you finally
take a stand for the truth inside yourself?
When you decide that you’d rather spread joy
than bring pain,
and you’d live as the being you are
rather than the person someone told you
you should be…
how does that feel?
Could you drop the old beliefs
as gracefully as a tree lets go of leaves
and make room for your heart’s desires?
Tree, could you draw your sap
all the way inside to center,
look deeper, and ask for a revelation?
As you stand cold and naked in the darkness,
waiting for the light and warmth
of the rebirth,
What were the seeds you sowed,
and how was your harvest?
Which seeds have you saved
for the plantings in the spring?
And can you turn inwards now fearlessly,
embracing the self that remains
when the old, dry and useless fall away?
a balance of the dark and light
the tipping point
for turning inwards
and letting go.
I practice releasing
as willingly as the trees
let fly their leaves
to make way
for the long winter.
I ask for a revelation from spirit:
Who am I really?
What do I want?
What do I need?
I look at nature
and I look again,
taking her cue to heart.
that after so much darkness
the only answer is light.