While sitting in the library last evening and watching the bad news of the day, Autumn’s golden light came streaming across my dining room table. As I broke from the news to take a photograph, I thought of what Joseph Campbell taught us: “Participate joyfully in the sorrows of the world. We cannot cure the world of sorrows, but we can choose to live in joy.”
It’s raining this morning and yellow leaves are blowing sideways. A quick hit from another winter storm is coming from the Northeast this afternoon. Don had planned on sailing the boat down to its winter harbor yesterday, but with the downslope winds predicted, and the damage they did to boats last week, he felt she was safer tethered to the mooring ball, twirling and swirling with the wind and waves, just riding it out. I can see the weathervane spinning around out my kitchen window, and the sailboat follows suit–moving in sync with the waves of the storm. The wind is raging, making me feel unsettled and anxious.
And, yet, firewood is stacked on the porch, and the little model sailboats on my mantle have been replaced by velvet pumpkins and fairy lights. The furniture is snuggled up next to the fireplace, and between the furnace and wool throws, it is warm and cozy in our house. I guess our missing cat, Gary, will miss out on cocktails next to the fire this winter, and his sister, Chatpeau, is just not the same since he left, behaving as spooky as those black cats in Halloween tales. The dark mornings continue to startle me with how fast we are losing light. But, “this is not a new story...What else is there but waiting in the autumn sun.”
“What Else”, by Carolyn Locke
The way the trees empty themselves of leaves,
let drop their ponderous fruit,
the way the turtle abandons the sun-warmed log,
the way even the late-blooming aster
succumbs to the power of frost—
this is not a new story.
Still, on this morning, the hollowness
of the season startles, filling
the rooms of your house, filling the world
with impossible light, improbable hope.
And so, what else can you do
but let yourself be broken
and emptied? What else is there
but waiting in the autumn sun?