The First Day of Fall

Sycamore leaves stitched together with stalks hung from a tree Glasgow, Lanarkshire 1 November 1986 – by Andy Goldsworthy

Today is officially the first day of Fall.  My brother Miles, who walked part way to the bench with me, commented on how absurd it is to assign a calendar date to the start of a season…Fall really started about two weeks ago, but now we are free to say things like “Happy Autumn!” and drink steaming cups of apple cider.  I had a quiet knit but for S.’s leaf blower, lawn mower, and his rattling chariot contraption.  E.’s maple has skipped the intermediary phases and gone straight to a dingy brown.  I saw our sick neighbor wearing a knitted red cap over her bald head out enjoying the foxgloves in her yard.  She expressed gratitude that she could walk around again.  The sky couldn’t make up its mind whether to rain or not–a few drops started down just as C. crossed the street cradling a laptop.  “I hope I don’t get electrocuted!” she said.  She was wearing her signature hot pink workout clothes that I have come to love so much.

Before I was fully awake this morning, Love washed over me like a tide come in.  Breathing  in and out…As soon as I got up, fears attacked me, an army of leeches.  My grandpa, who lives in Issaquah, was just hospitalized with a numbness in his arm.  He has always been an anchor for our family, a gentle farm boy from Oskaloosa, Iowa, and I know that in his late 80’s, he is nearing the end of his time on earth.  Mortality makes me tremble, a sense of helplessness like driving a car downhill on ice.  I don’t fear my own death–I’m afraid of losing the people I love.  And yet, this thought found me earlier this morning: When you possess Love, you possess all things.  Do not be afraid.  

From a nearby tree, the squeaky, whistling birds filled the air with song between the droning of the leaf blower.  Chuck the mailman walked by smiling.  Yellow snapdragons burst out of a lawn.  I was glad to have time to knit, to watch people come and go, the ordinariness of daily life grounding me, paradoxically, in the Eternal.

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3 thoughts on “The First Day of Fall

  1. Kim says:

    Love this: the daily life grounding us in the Eternal. Not ground as in coffee or herbs, which gave me pause for just a minute. Rooting? Grounding. I love it. I am so sorry to hear about your dear Grandpa!

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