May the strength of the wind and the light of the sun
The softness of the rain and the mystery of the moon
Reach you and fill you…Celtic Blessing
I am back home in time for these final days of October. We have entered the “atmospheric river”, as the meteorologists like to say for this time of the year. Cliff Mass, whose blog from Seattle I regularly follow, writes: “It is like falling off a meteorological cliff. And it happens every year. The transition to winter weather in the Pacific.” Today he wrote, “the spigot is turned on.” It was pouring rain when we got home at midnight, but, yesterday, in what felt like a kind gift from the gods, it was sunny and warm, and golden with a blue sky. Birds, especially robins, were as busy as I’ve ever seen them, flitting from berry branch to berry branch, and that quintessential scent of Autumn’s decay filled the air. I spent much of the day outside, filling myself up with the warmth of the sun, and when the sun went down, I watched the pink light leave the sky from my living room. In the dark of this morning, when I went up to the garage to feed the kitties, the cold rain was dripping through the branches, plastering yellow leaves to the wet stone steps. There is nothing but a river of moisture forecasted for this upcoming week, and soon, with the time change, the end of each day will rapidly slide into darkness, as we move towards the ending of another year.
In Cape Cod, I saw the full moon glittering over the ocean, and a sparkling clear blue sky on a sunny day. I walked in soft white sand, picking up shells, and through swaying grasses of the dunes. I photographed beautiful weathered shingled houses and their window boxes full of colorful Fall mums. I spent a blustery late afternoon, dramatic cloud formations overhead, on the same stretch of seashore where Henry Beston wrote his beloved book, The Outermost House. And, then I got to come home, to my own house by the water, with golden light in the woods.
It’s been a terrible week of news. As my heart aches for the people killed and the mournful suffering in Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, I thought of how Fred Rogers said his mother always told him that, in times of sorrow, we must “look for the helpers.” The words of Henry Beston help me.
“Hold your hands out over the earth as over a flame. To all who love her, who open to her the doors of their veins, she gives of her strength, sustaining them with her own measureless tremor of dark life. Touch the earth, love the earth, honour the earth, her plains, her valleys, her hills, and her seas; rest your spirit in her solitary places. For the gifts of life are the earth’s and they are given to all, and they are the songs of birds at daybreak, Orion and the Bear, and dawn seen over ocean from the beach.”