The sound of summer is the drone of cicadas rising and falling in the still hot afternoon air. Birds calling evokes spring for me; The “hello, look at me” songs that fill the treetops in April signal to me that spring has really arrived. Autumn is the crunch of dry leaves underfoot on the trail and the rustle of dying leaves overhead. And winter sounds like the relentless north wind, blowing mercilessly through the barren gray tree skeletons on the hill.
Every season has a sound for me. And a different feel in the air. Winter feels like deep, troubled sleep; tossing and turning, looking for quiet repose. Then spring arrives feeling frenetic, busy – as though there is not nearly enough time to get everything done. Summer is sleepy and abundant; the earth is resting joyfully in her aliveness. Autumn comes and I feel a slowing of the pulse as the growing cycle slows down to a whisper.
Autumn is here. Can you hear it?
I lie in bed and listen to the nighttime sounds of the autumn woods; A cricket suddenly playing a violin solo in the silence. A solitary tree frog tentatively adding to the melody. The wind whispering through the leaves overhead. Zen music for my soul.
Cool crispness fills the autumn day. And now a cool and snuggly autumn night stretches before me silent and inviting. A comforter night filled with the scent and feel of my love’s skin on mine. Synching up and exploring the nooks and crannies of each other as the crickets sing.
In the morning, there is mist in the valley. The second time this week. I look out of the kitchen window to discover that the pond no longer exists at the bottom of the hill. It has been swallowed up by a silvery shroud hugging the trees. Not a breath of wind stirs and the morning mist feels sharp and cool in my throat, just as autumn air should feel. I can see my own breath ebb and flow as I stand on the deck straining to see the pond below.
My son chatters away in the dining room right behind me. As I peer out into the clouds, his chatter recedes and fades away. Life is still and utterly serene for a brief time. A little moment of peace in the midst of my morning chaos.
The geese are in a chaos of their own this morning. Honking and flying around the pond and yard. Disturbed, excited – something is up. Is it time to head south? Are southern waters calling to them? I do not hear the call, but I see the geese’s frenzy as they circle.
It must be scary for the young geese to feel the urge to leave and not know where they will end up. Kind of like writing. And once you get there, you cannot remember quite how you managed to do it. Traversing new territory, whether by wing or by pen, must be done on faith. Take a deep breath and start.
One stroke at a time…
Published in “On the Path” November 1999