Autumn Alchemy

often in life, hopefully you find moments of inspiration. Fleeting moments of clarity that if not immediately seized, they lose that intangible quality, not found again. It is so in writing. This piece I wrote immediately upon such an inspiration. It is a struggle to capture again as I edit. An impulse to tear it apart crashes over head. I publish so as not to delete

And then it hit me. A single rush of autumn air, my senses sparked. An oxidizing vapor that brought back the moments and memories that too often are lost to middle-age, the staccato of life. It lightened my mind, opened my heart.

Dusk’s dying sun shone low, sharp above the horizon. The sun has a false reflection from the glorious autumn leaves at this time of year. It’s an irreverant glow. Unimaginable color, its an eyeful of blazing, sometime bronze, always flaming sheen, framed by a dark cloud ceiling of certainty, which is our future.

As with middle-age it can overwhelm. That is nature. But for now, this moment, my soul soars. The hope of light shared with the deep threatening darkness. The tree limbs partially exposed, reach out to comfort, settling me, center me for what is inevitable. Peace fell over me in this panorama.

I would never had known such an ephemeral experience for I had not come to New England nearly two decades ago. It has coddled me through the foremost fortune, life’s joys and its harshest realities. It brings humility, reminds one of thy insignificant place in its grandeur.

It’s in the air. Crisp. Fresh. Yet with a chill, jolting, it brings you full circle; a year full circle. It brings life full circle; its antecedents, extant and impending departure.

Since antiquity this earthy magic is celebrated through festival, full of food from ground and sea, full of drink of grape and grain.

Man celebrates the rise from winter hibernation to the harvest splendor wrought of spring labor, nurtured by summer heat. The cycle of life. It has always been celebrated by people of the earth, even as people were drawn away from their relationship with the old sod, Mother Earth; given to toil at clanking industry or hypnotized by cyber science.

Over the last century this unconscious disconnect has extorted man of nature’s alchemy.

Autumn’s reticence is left for the beast and philistine to recognize in the retina, under foot, by taste, feel.

As I make my path back to the warmth of my wood framed home, where my body will fall comfortably, fully, quietly into a softened leather chair, I pull autumn’s wizardry into everything I touch, taste and consider.

Oddly as with this chair, my shelter seldom entices as now at this exceptional point of the year. It seems all things are an arc and at this point, it feels that all things are properly aligned. Comforting.

In these transitions one recognizes the totality and beauty of life; that wistful hint of death. All things that are natural and necessary; that, whirl outside our control, simply to enjoy, embrace.

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