Light in Autumn


“I must say, it helps to be in a pandemic, having been self-isolating for many months and anticipating more of the same–it makes supper with friends around a table feel like a great luxury. Life feels more precious, knowing that danger is in the air. Creating one perfectly beautiful day is a heroic achievement, all the more so for occurring in the midst of an ugly presidency and a savage disease.” Garrison Keillor

Now it is October, and oh how beautiful our skies have been. Last week’s rain showers washed away the smoke, and now we are having a splendid Indian Summer. The days have been heartbreakingly beautiful. I start the mornings down on a rock by the water, a kitty on my lap, to watch pink light fill the sky and water. And in the evenings, with long golden sunsets, I go out to the dock to find the evening star, and get a glimpse of light in the East where the moon is rising. All night long, the Harvest Moon fills our bedroom with clear white light. Each day, I declare that there has not been a more beautiful day.

Just in time for October, the full moon was orange when it set across the lake this morning. Smoke from western fires has silently drifted in, creating a haze which only intensifies Autumn’s golden light during sunsets and moonsets. I know that ‘nothing gold can stay’, but, still, this Autumn light feels so necessary during these troubled times with ‘growing darkness’ in our country.

Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness by Mary Oliver

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.

And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing as we must,
how the vivacity of what was is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but
what else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

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