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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Today is a Gift

The heat of the sun, like a warm compress, soothes my skin.  Leaves, crisp, dry and turning brown, rustle a meditation.   Random thoughts follow the sound and ripple out on the breeze.  Cars whoosh, whispering by, far away on the road below.  A neighbour is building, hammering on her deck, getting ready for winter. 

A red squirrel climbs the wrought iron pole to the bird feeders, finds nothing appealing and falls off.  Or leaps to search for fallen rowan berries and the last of the grapes hidden beneath the vine's yellowing leaves.

Last night's rain and the sunlight wink and glisten on the leaves of the wisteria vine, the elm hedge and the sugar maple.  The light plays, creates patterns of shade.  Shadow copies of the leaves dance on the grass, deep greys on green.

Hosta leaves, touched with frost, droop now, brown tinged, wilting into the earth, turning themselves into compost for their winter's rest.  The air is cool, smells crisp and fresh, smells like fall.

The sunlight slants through the dark green, waxy leaves of the saucer magnolia, makes it look different; it becomes a glowing, unreal, lime colour.  The magnolia has had a good summer, has recovered from its breakage.  Tender care and the duct-taped splint are a success.

Autumn changes, touches everything.  Each shrub and tree, every vine and berry turns from one form of itself into another; transitions from one stage of its life cycle into another.

Me, too; I am changing, transitioning.  I await the next change in my life, this new transition into another form of myself.

I hope to pass through this cycle of health challenges, perhaps a little browned at the edges, perhaps dry and rattly for a time.  Like the magnolia, I hope to have a good season.  I anticipate my physical self will look different, maybe it will sometimes seem unreal.  But, I hope with tender care, I too will survive and become stronger.

May it be so.

Words and photo are copyright Carol Steel.


Anonymous said...


Carol Steel said...

Thanks Wendy. Hugs back.

jerilanders said...

Autumn does change the appearance of the world around us, and in a deeper way, it changes us. We seem to slow down, breathe deeply and settle in. It feels nice.
I read your post below on Clocks and giggled, nodded in agreement and wondered, as I looked at my watch, why am I always asking, "what time is it??" It is funny. However, I really like clocks. I love hearing them tick, tick tick at night.. it helps me sleep, I find the ticking comforting. I love cuckcoo clocks because they are so silly. I love the clock in my studio because it sings a different bird's song on the hour. And I like big clocks in town squares because they are nostalgic. So, I guess, for me, there is more to it than wondering "what time is it???".

Carol Steel said...

Hi Jeri,
Thank you for your thoughtful responses to this and the previous blog post. Yes, autumn is a time for slowing down and settling in, as happens in the natural world.

I appreciate your perspective on clocks. It is so different from my own and it is always helpful to have a perspective stretched. Thank you for making my thinking expand.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Hope you get through your health issues speedily....

What a lovely squirrel!

Autumn does change everything you're right...

Carol Steel said...


Thanks for your comments. It is a lovely squirrel, one of many who live in our yard. We're not happy when they're on the bird feeders.
Autumn in New Brunswick is wonderful, cool days and nights and colorful leaves, still with enough heat in the days to be pleasant outdoors.

I hope the health issues will be over speedily as well. I have a day surgery soon which will tell the surgeon exactly what is happening. Then I'll know what I'm dealing with and what the treatment options can be. Thanks for your kind wishes.

Deborah Carr said...

This is a lovely line: "Leaves, crisp, dry and turning brown, rustle a meditation". I think why we love autumn is that it asks us to slow down and take note. Summer is always busy with travel and visits, but autumn slides in with a kind of quiet grace that calls us to pause. And you have paused with such lovely words...I pictured you right there at the edge of it all, in silent meditation.

Carol Steel said...

Thanks, Deborah. When I wrote this, I was indeed sitting in a meditative quiet place in the yard but also within myself. I'm glad that the words reflected the peace and grace I was feeling at the time. Thank you for your comment.