© Jane Dahmen – Maine Fall
I am rich today with autumn’s gold,
All that my covetous hands can hold;
Frost-painted leaves and goldenrod,
A goldfinch on a milkweed pod,
Huge golden pumpkins in the field
With heaps of corn from a bounteous yield,
Golden apples heavy on the trees
Rivaling those of Hesperides,
Golden rays of balmy sunshine spread
Over all like butter on warm bread;
And the harvest moon will this night unfold
The streams running full of molten gold.
Oh, who could find a dearth of bliss
With autumn glory such as this!
— Gladys Harp
(if anyone knows anything about who Gladys Harp is/was,
please let me know; I couldn’t find any information
except this lovely poem.)
There is no doubt that most of us are living at an increasingly fast pace. Two of my friends, recently retired, have marveled that they are now busier than ever! They wonder how they ever found time to go to work every day. For people juggling family, career, friendships, hobbies, spirituality, personal growth, and even elder care, time can feel like an enemy, or at least an elusive commodity.
And as I discussed yesterday, amplifying this already frantic mix is the corporate push to speed up the consumer calendar, shoving us into the Winter holiday extravaganza before the first frost hits.
If we are to find our own pace, we will have to do it with real intention, because we will have to resist enormous pressure to join the frenzy all around us. It seems that this is the perfect time, though, to slow down, and ignore all the messages from the commercial sector that say we should be putting up trees and lights and shopping right this minute.
For what could be more beautiful than this Autumn season? Every day brings a new revelation – brilliant colors, or the forest floor revealed. Skies that were hidden by green canopies are suddenly vibrant and alive with cold wind and sparkling stars. The heat of one of the most oppressive summers in my memory has given way, where I live, to chill that tingles the skin and gladdens the heart.
Could it be that our insistence on jumping straight from Halloween to Christmas (with a side-trip to Turkey Day) is a reflection of our deeper fear of the dark? For, as beautiful as this time is, it is also true that (in the Northern hemisphere) we are now moving straight into the heart of Darkness.
As we begin to work with the magic of time, let us first get our bearings, and look around to see where we are. We will be settling ourselves into the ancient rhythms that we know in our blood memory, if not in our conscious modern habits. And my first recommendation would be to observe and honor, instead trying to defeat, the deepening dark.
More about this tomorrow.