Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Autumn Wind

Today as I walked, I noticed the green cottonwood leaves struggling to hold on to their branches in the strong wind by the river. But the yellow leaves from the upper branches seemed to let go so peacefully. I identified with the greenish leaves that were holding on to their branches and near the end of their useful time to the tree.*

The wind seemed to be very alive today and the leaves existed only in each present moment. There seemed to be no sense of past or future for the leaves. They seemed to hold no memory of ever being a small sweet scented bud and they never experienced emotional attachment to the branch they worked with so intimately through the summer to sustain the tree. When the time came for them to be free from their branch they just let go - full of peace and full of joy with no clue about where they would land or just how they would circle back into life. The tree was helping me understand that a feeling of loss or emotional attachment may be an artifact of memory - and it disappears completely in a present moment that is surrendered to wonder and gratitude.

* Deciduous trees have to let their leaves go as winter approaches because it just takes more energy to sustain them than they are able to produce and the tree would need to run on a deficit of food and water. The very waxy broad leafed arbutus tree and the native rhododendron leaves are both uniquely evergreen in our countryside. The needled trees like fir and hemlock and pine are also evergreen and can keep their needles through the winter as they don't stress the tree's resources too much. But I notice the cedar trees at this time of year - they shunt their wastes into 1 or 2 cedar boughs at the base of most branches which then turn brown and fall away from the tree along with its small cones.

Autumn Wind

Today took me down by the river
The sky was grey and wet
The river was the same
All the colors had run
To leaves on autumn trees
The wind is what I noticed most
It was playing with everything
It was touching everything
The clouds and the river
The raindrops and the grass
And the leaves on the trees
Asking them if they were ready
To surrender their hold
And fly toward the river

The summer sun gone
Green mottling leaves
Past usefulness to their tree
Struggling so hard
To hold on to their branch
In this colorful autumn wind
Slapping their branch and each other
While yellow leaves above peacefully let go
One-by-one or in handfuls
Surrendered to their season
Celebrating their color
With the wind and this moment
No sadness at parting
And no certain destination

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Nature's Open Door

At nature’s open door
Apart but not alone
Alone but not lonely
No humans nearby

Emotional colors
Faint echoes
From past voices
Loosely tied
To arrows
Of intention

Silence helps us
Step naked
Into the present
Leaving past voices
Powerless and meaningless
Beyond the open door