Adagio for Autumn

Just remain in the center; watching. And then forget that you are there.” Lao Tzu

Spider in the Yard

Spider in the Yard

In my yard, a spider re-purposes a step ladder with the messy genius of its web. It feasts on October’s tired insects, then lays its eggs and tucks the sticky sacs in the rafters of the shed.

Yard birds flock to nibble on the gone-to-seed grasses. They scratch for grubs in the woodyard’s debris. There are no frosts yet to prompt an exodus, but there is a frenzy to their activity. They know; they know the order of things and that the time is soon.

And so, summer dissolves into fall. I split and stack firewood, then climb the roof to clean the stovepipe. To the north, the slope sides of Mt. Adams sparkle with sequins of snow, remnants of the weekend’s weather.

Oak Leaves on the Garden Path

Oak Leaves on the Garden Path

I listen as wind chimes announce a breeze that stirs the leaves on a neighbor’s massive oak. Some flutter into the yard, the first stop on their journey to the east. They nestle in the river rock surrounding the shrubs and a brick path. The talons of their stems wedge between the stones and resist the rake.

More hide behind the skirts of the burning bush that borders the road. I watch, from my promontory, as a gust of wind propels them down the street, scuttling on the curl of their dry edges.

I, too, know the order of some things: that poetry exists in the disorder of life and decoration in its clutter. I live in a perpetual Autumn of cancer. Yet, I don’t tremble with an instinct to flee. This is merely what I hear and see and … it is astounding.

PS: Notes and numbers on the third cycle in The Drill.