Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Big Chill

Only days ago the cats and I sat mesmerized as golden leaves from the hickory tree spiraled and spun like flickering tongues of fire against a brilliant blue sky. Today elusive flames sputter and start in the wood stove as damp logs hiss in resistance.The golden days of October have departed early it seems, leaving a skim of ice on the water in the bird bath and the need for an extra layer indoors.
A raw wind is cutting leaf from limb and opening up patches of sky in the woods that surround me. The curtain is being pulled back and I find myself in a different place.
The landscape is transforming into winter. Snowflakes could fall today.

I am feeling a bit “between the worlds” from this seemingly overnight change. The faded colors, a tiny late-blooming flower here and there among the brittle stalks, the absence of the cricket chorus… Were they saying their goodbyes and I was too busy to notice? They have withdrawn and so will the rest of us. Back into our inner spaces. Back to hearth and home. Dreaming before the welcome fire… slowing down to align with this new rhythm.

The cats are curled up deep in dreams, foregoing the urgent need to be outside.
They have surrendered to the season and I will do the same. The element of fire will lead me into its waking dreamtime as a new cycle begins on this wheel of life.
The alchemists perceived fire as “the agent of transmutation”, feeling all things derive from and return to fire. It materializes the life-force and replaces the sun in the dark days to come.

For much more eloquent discourse on the cycles of all things check out Mythos I and II (available from Netflix). These are the final lectures that Joseph Campbell gave in 1987 which were a summation of his life’s work.(This in not the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers) These talks are food for the mind and soul showing how mankind’s narrative and social history is intertwined throughout the world via the natural world and human nature. The old cycles are still active in this seemingly modern world, just somewhat smothered or obscured by the prevailing materialism.
Take a look beneath the surface and be reassured.

May your inner fire be fed by the passions that sustain you…

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Waves of departing geese pass overhead, loudly honking their farewells until Spring.
My imagination is stirred as they call me to follow their quest to warmer climes and new adventures. I stand face upturned and feet firmly rooted in this place. I wish them safe harbors and plentiful food as they strike out under a waxing moon. I will be here celebrating their triumphant return when Winter has passed.

The goose in many ways epitomizes the mystery of migration and passages. They don’t fly in a straight line though it appears that way from certain perspectives. The traditional V sometimes morphs and regroups at this starting point of the journey and continues to refine itself enroute. These remarkable creatures are constantly shifting formations to allow each goose to have an unobstructed view of the journey ahead and to create wind drafts which make easier flights for those following the lead. This way they all find themselves naturally in the flow.Oh, if we humans could be so generous and find ourselves in that flow... For an amazing bird’s eye view of these ancient seasonal sojourns watch the film “Winged Migrations” and you will forever be in awe of the feathered creatures around us.

Other migrations will be heading in our direction over the long weekend to come. The hills are alive with radiant color and the traditional motorcade of leaf-peepers will make the journey to drink in the cool, fresh air and that color of the crimson, gold and orange leaves that are still intensifying. Almost every town in New England will be stacked high with the season’s bounty, craft fairs and antique shows will proliferate and a good time is insured for all under clear blue skies.Locals will complain about the additional traffic but all will secretly take pleasure in sharing the beauty that we are lucky enough to enjoy everyday. It is our gift and certainly helps ease the passage into the shorter days ahead.

Do get out and admire the golden days of Autumn wherever you may be. And may all your
journeys be inspired ones!