the rhythms that are at the heart of life

0196_the rhythms that are at the heart of life

The autumnal equinox is still a few weeks away, but everywhere, nature’s little signposts indicate change is coming: a fall-like coolness nips the morning air; squirrels and chipmunks hoard the season’s first acorns; seed pods unfurl; my garden’s last blossoms –toad lilies, sweet autumn clematis– are poised for their brief debut; the sky’s a deeper, more poignant shade of blue; lengthening shadows lace the lawn; cicadas and katydids sound the growing season’s waning hour; I instinctively reach for a sweater.

Even at its earliest edges, the turning of the year toward autumn is palpable. I grow thoughtful, more introspective. More than at any other time of year, I’m aware of the passage of time. Crickets chirp in the long grasses. I think of those I love – of our children, grown and gone to lives of their own; I weave together fragments of smiles and hugs and the remembered laughter of dear ones I’ve lost, hang new wreaths to their memory in my heart.

As I grow through the seasons of my life, I learn again and again to acquiesce, to love with an open hand, to release my need to hold on to a moment. I learn to accept change, mindful of the beauty of all that is fleeting, thankful for the blessings that, I know, are yet to come.

A gust of wind sends a maple leaf twirling to the ground; as it comes to rest along my path, I’m reminded of these words:

Summer ends, and Autumn comes,
and he who would have it otherwise
would have high tide always
and a full moon every night;
and thus he would never know
the rhythms that are at the heart of life.

~Hal Borland, (1900 – 1978) 

14 thoughts on “the rhythms that are at the heart of life

  1. So poignant and evocative, Amy. I especially appreciated the reminders of what I’m missing: cicadas, crickets, maple leaves, a change in the weather (as you might imagine, it’s been sweaters — and sometimes a jacket — all summer for me!)… But yes, the light has changed here, too.

    May your blessings yet to come be multitudinous, friend!

    • Oh, Lynn, I can well imagine how bewitching the angled light must be at this time of year at your particular latitude and longitude! I know how much you must be missing the familiar sounds of home – the song of crickets and whirr of cicada wings. But no maples there? I didn’t know. (Now that I’m a more experienced gardener and admirer of all things botanical, it would be fascinating to come back to the Isles to study the local flora.) The autumn leaves should be turning in your area soon, as I think you’re a good deal more north than we are in the midwest. Won’t it be beautiful? I’ll be counting on plenty of photographs on your blog this fall!

      Thank you so much for your kind remarks. It’s always a delight to hear from you! Love and many blessings~ xoxo

      • I expect that there must be *some* maples here — surely! The ancient beeches, oaks and yews tend to be so riveting that I notice little else; although I do see plenty of sycamores (maple family). I shall keep you posted, m’dear!

      • Ancient beeches, oaks, and yews… sycamores…. *sigh* Such pictures you help me create in my mind’s eye, scope for the imagination… xo

  2. Oh, yes. I find this to be such a melancholy time, so liminal – stlll hot and in some ways the most “vacation” weeks of the year, but also I’m so aware of the turning towards autumn, and of the shorter days, and of all that’s ending. I find it painfully bittersweet. xox

    • This time of year is, more than anything, tender and poignant for me, a time to pause and pay homage to the passing year. Perhaps the deep losses I’ve weathered have tempered me, I don’t really know for certain. But as I age, I’m inclined “to go with the drift of things, and bow and accept the end of a season” rather than resist it. Is this treason? Not to me. I’ve lived long enough, I guess, to know that goodness and beauty arrive with each new day. And for me, this is enough.

      I so appreciate your thoughtful remarks, Lindsey. Thank you. xox

  3. I must admit I love the fall. Makes me want to nest. It’s not the beauty of spring, the anticipation of warmth–but I love the crispness, the cool air, the nip at night. Beautifully written and captured, Amy!

    • I have learned to love autumn as you do, Kristine, but it wasn’t always so. For me, it has been a slow progression, a process of gaining experience and a sense of perspective. I’ve opened my eyes and my heart to the daily miracle of life. Fall is indeed a beautiful season, a time to nest and dream.

      Thank you for your perennial kindnesses to me! Hugs~ xoxo

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