Thursday, November 17, 2011

Autumn meditation

It’s a blustery autumn day and as billows of leaves sail past my office window, I muse over this season of dissolution. The riotous growth of field and forest that distinguishes the growing season in my corner of creation is in terminal decay. Hostas have turned to slimy puddles of mush. Only a few creamy pedals remain on gap-toothed Japanese anemones. Rosebuds rot elegantly on the stem. The earth is still, and turning cold and dark. A winter’s sleep descends.
So too am I ready for winter, with its consolations of hearth and home. Celebrations await: a feast with friends and family, a son’s graduation, a daughter’s wedding, and a season of advent anticipation, followed by the holy day of Christ’s birth. Amidst the stillness of winter, we will sing with joy. With zephyrs blowing off the Pacific, we will turn up our collars, tug down on our hats and hold each other closer in affection. Despite short days, we will relish the long nights and the racing of dark clouds across the face of the moon. We will stand amazed at the dazzling lights God has strewn across the firmament of heaven—tokens of his glory.
Seasons turn, and time shifts to a lower gear. Chin on fist, I pause and listen to the white noise of blood flowing through my head. I watch storm clouds scudding by where days ago arched a canopy of leaves. The vine maples scatter their ochre litter across my garden sward. I draw inward, downward, gathering strength of soul and limb. The coil tightens before it's released. Winter's silhouette will soon burst into bloom. Life will win. The light of the world will not be overcome by darkness.

3 comments:

Steve said...

Great prose, and well said. Who else could make the constant drenching that is Oregon in the fall sound inviting? Looking forward to seeing you at the wedding--

Nancy said...

Peter, these words bring tears to my eyes as a reread them for the third or fourth time. You have captured the change of season from autumn to winter, and the beauty of the garden that nurtures your soul and inspires your writing.

Anonymous said...

When coming home from a concert last night I stopped to chat with a neighbor who is a native Alamedian who has also lived in a floating home on the Columbia and in Mt. Shasta. It had rained a lot during the day and I mentioned how I missed the rain and change to winter in the NW. She looked at me as though she couldn’t imagine what I was talking about- real seasons- not just a few rainy cool days.
You make me miss those seasons even more.