09.23.14 It is the first day of Autumn. In ancient Chinese philosophy, weeping is the sound of Autumn and sadness and courage are her emotions. As the light dies and leaves fall from the trees, it takes courage to weep for things you have lost.
On Sunday, our final night in Berkeley, my newly seven year old grandson stood on the staircase, in his jammies and squeaky-clean from the shower, and hugged us good-bye. “Why can’t you stay?” he pleaded. “I counted the days and it will be three months and one more day before we get to see you again.” And, in the dark wee hours of the next morning, as we waited in line to board our flight, I overheard a man say on his phone, “Have a good week–I love you.” He was losing a whole week away from someone he loved; I was losing three months and one day from someone I love. Oh the weeping…this cycle of life in which all things come to an end.
In time, there will be the “rest cycle”, Winter. It’s the longest cycle, but so necessary, for me, to savor the completeness of Summer, and the weeping of Autumn, and to prepare for it all to start anew in the Spring. Till then, we are off to Ireland–that country often called, “a terrible beauty”–in a land where great poets have taught us well, in how to weep.