Friday, October 09, 2009

Waning Moon, Falling Leaves...Life Marches On

I'm working at home today, sitting behind my laptop screen at my dining room table. The doors onto the deck afford me a healthy dose of sunshine and an ever changing floor show of bird, leaves, wind, and weather.

Moments ago I heard a rustle and looked up to see a flurry of leaves falling to the ground, shaken loose by the breeze...and I was broadsided by memories of so many autumns, so many cool breezes on clear days, with skies so blue my eyes ached, leaves falling around me, crunching on the ground as I walked.

Autumn has always been my favorite time of year. As a child, I couldn't wait for the days to get crisp and cool. I would put on a cozy if ill-matched sweater and go outside, marveling in how different everything the smells changed, the sounds,the light, the feel of the air. 

Watching those leaves fall brought that all back to me. I can smell the air standing underneath the two scalybark hickory trees in the front yard of a house where we lived, even though I'm in my kitchen. I can feel my red cotton Buster Brown sweater with snaps up the front and my rain boots and warm socks. And I'm crying...and I'm not sure why.

Fall comes with such matter how sweet the summer, there is no holding back, no slowing the progression of time. This is my 52nd October...I'll see my 53rd November in just a few weeks...and while I know that there will be countless more beyond, I won't always see them. The autumn breezes that energize me and the smells of fallen leaves on damp ground that thrill me every year will go on. One day, I just won't be there to see it. And I honestly don't know if I'm crying because I know my time in this life will end or because the time I've had has been so damned precious, so sweet and juicy and rich.

I don't know what happens when we die.  Nature teaches me, though, that life is endless...that everything that lives dies...and lives again in some form. I trust that it will be so with me, too, and I'm not afraid. I'm not in a hurry...but I have no fear. If anything, my days are so much sweeter lately. The recent death of a young friend and that of at least two other young men that I'm aware of has heightened my awareness of the brevity of life and my gratitude for every moment.

One thing I do know...sitting here working when I want to be outside dancing in the falling leaves is taking every bit of discipline I have. Life is short and fall is wonderful and leaves make the best waltz partners, much to the amusement of my neighbors. Ah, but what of it? Life is too short to worry about giggling neighbors. 

I'm outta here...lunch hour will see no sandwich or soup today. Instead, I'll be twirling in the backyard, arms flung wide, laughing and singing and soaking up Mama's last dance before the long sleep.

Strike up the band...a fiddle tune, if you please...and make it lively...

Photographs: Linda Davenport 2009


  1. I'd love to be dancing with you !

  2. And with this glorious fall day - don't forget we attacked our moon today. I still have my reservations with that one however logical the exploration may be. It just seems a bit... dramatic? Im not sure thats the wording IM looking for with that.

    Here's to finding new resource and a possibility for this tiny speck in the universe to find its way to take a fruitful step off our own planet and step out into the unknown more fully and maybe even learn a bit more about ourselves...

  3. The last few days, and the next few days, various activities have kept & may keep me from being as responsive as I'd like to your always tremendous posts. Like most of us, I could use 48 or even 72 hours in a day. But I wanted to slip in and tell you how much I appreciate your words and your perspective. Only I don't know how to express it except to say....thank you.

  4. My dearest friend...I am dancing with you on these glorious days. Though separated by geography, the season wraps us both in Her richness and "mellow fruitfulness". Thank you for the respite from a harried day!

  5. I love autumn (this is my 45th one in this skin). Not everyone thinks so highly of "the dark half" of the year, but I'm rather fond of it.

    I've been thinking about "faith" today (don't be surprised if you see a blog post on that topic soon!) and the question of "what happens when we die" is largely one of belief, and one we can't really settle "scientifically" (yet!). I have fragmentary past-live memories that half-way make me a believer... but the other half of me offers alternative and much more mundane explanations.

    Whatever happens when we die, I agree that death teaches us to live our lives to the fullest... to feed both flesh and spirit, and to embrace every moment.


Sing with me...