preserving a gentle spirit in a heartless world

Gentleness is not weakness. Just the opposite. Preserving a gentle spirit in a heartless world takes extraordinary courage, determination and resilience. Do not underestimate the power of gentleness because gentleness is strength wrapped in peace,
and therein lies the power to change the world.

~L. R. Knost

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)