In preparing a short presentation on mindfulness in daily life and autumn, I ended up writing a poem about autumn. More than writing, I reflected on how I understand seasonal cycles, including the equinox we experienced on the weekend.
I considered how I define phenomena. For example, autumn or fall was defined by my teaching with phrases such as “see you in the fall, school begins in the fall, and have a good summer, see you in the fall for school.” Nature does not define autumn quite so neatly.
Yes, there is a moment where the time from the longest and shortest days of sunlight is exactly balanced, but Nature and her other living beings are responding according to instinct and invisiable cues, not on artificial times. Trees are slow to change colour and shed their leaves this year, the rabbits in the yard are still brown/grey, and the geese are still gathering to feast on the grain left in farmers’ fields.
For me, autumn is a beautiful mix of the other seasons. On my walks, I experience the cool wind hinting of winter, the warmth of the sun suggesting summer is not gone, and the smell of decay to prepare the way for spring renewal and rejuvenation.
As well, there many metaphors and carry in our daily lives. Understood as a time of harvest, gathering, and bounty, autumn reminds me to be mindful of those moments when we gather, the memories and stories we gather to share with one another, and the readying for dormant times in life vital to our rejuvenation. This happens at all times of the year.
Another aspect of reflecting, preparing, and presenting was I felt rejuvenated. I am not teaching this fall and have been a bit down. Yesterday, I felt presenting and the writing that went with it put some “spring” in my step to be a little punny. I recording the presentation as a series of videos to upload and to put some of my poems into a book to publish.
Autumn arrives unannounced,
Alluding to other seasons
Touching body and soul as I walk.
Winter’s promise of dormant moments,
Readying for rebirth.
Afternoon sun chasing chill,
Warming body and soul,
Hinting summer remains.
Artist colouring leave from Her palette,
Hanging above; fallen mates carpet ground.
Secluded, shaded, dampness,
Rich aroma of decay,
Spring depends on fall’s work.
Is there a typical autumn day?
Is there a typical autumn moment?
Nature whispers, “Maybe; Maybe not.”
This was a picture I took several years ago in the river valley. I remember the aroma of decay as it had been a cool and wet fall followed by some warmth.