The Autumn Leaves
The leaves in New England were terrific this year. Returning from my annual writer’s retreat in Maine with my wo-mentor poet Elizabeth McKim, I reflect on the turning of the leaves. It is hypnotic; they let go and blaze with color. I found sixty different colors in the leaves! So delightful and satisfying for the eye! Here they go riding the wind, dancing on the gusts, turning and twisting – laying down a crunchy carpet; a thousand leaves. They reminded me to let go, rest in the beauty of change, be surprised, dwell with the shapes and colors; don’t clutch but take a turn on the breeze, float and twirl, see where you land. Philosophers and poets remind us that autumn leaves are a loss for the trees; that their beauty comes from dying. Yet this phenomenon is so spectacular, people travel just to see it.
This year brought me great loss and change. I mourned, grieved, struggled and fell down. My body wept and howled; strange sounds came out of me. Ungovernable; I allowed it. But now my sounds have changed, I found a new song. My dance has changed, I landed on my two feet. Possible meme: embrace the change. Or maybe: the autumn leaves remind us of the beauty of letting go.
What about you? What images or emotions does autumn bring to you? Have you, too, suffered a loss? Here are two Haiku (Japanese style poems) I wrote about my personal story.