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The Autumnal Equinox is almost upon us. In anticipation of the change of season, some Autumnal haiku...
There is no place in a regular wheel of the year where it makes sense to talk about going back, returning, backtracking or heading the wrong way. The cycle of the year does of course bring us round the same seasons, reliably, but there is always a sense of moving forward. Turning, not returning. Time as we experience it only flows one way. However, there are many ways in which we can go back.
The alarm clock goes off, Aerosmith is playing on Planet Rock. There is a small white cat lying between me and my husband, her little head resting on my pillow. A spotted grey cat is curled up against the small of my back, sharing in the warmth. My husband gets up, showers and comes back to kiss me goodbye. I sigh, stretch, and slowly extricate myself from the sleeping, furry softness to greet the day.
Standing by the top landing window, overlooking my back garden and the horse paddocks beyond that, down the valley towards the little nature sanctuary, my eyes coming back full circle to see the sun, rising over the North Sea (I cannot see the sea from here, but it is less than a mile away). I let its light wash over me – sunny mornings have been few and far between, and with eyes closed I drink it in. “Hail to the Day, and Day’s Sons, farewell to Night and her Daughters. With loving eyes look upon us here, and grant peace to those living here. Hail to the Gods, hail to the Goddesses, hail to the might fecund Earth. Eloquence and native wit bestow upon us here, and healing hands while we live”. Another deep breath, and so the day begins....
Autumn – it’s coming. The nights are drawing in, and though the sun’s strength is still strong, there is a chill in the breeze that carries the smell of woodsmoke. The greening is fading, the vegetation now out of room to grow after a hot summer, and is now an almost choking mass, ready to fall back and rest a while. Deep within my own soul, I feel these rhythms, and will shortly be following the inspiration I see all around me within nature. The time for rest is coming, but first there is the harvest, with plenty of hard work still lying ahead. The bees and wasps are still hard at work, soon to be looking for homes to winter through, should that be in their nature. The swallows will soon be leaving, the fledglings having already taken to the skies. They are waiting, waiting for the right wind to take them back, once their food supply begins to wane....
Summer is well into full-swing this first week of August. In this part of Illinois, August is usually very hot and miserable. Even so, the first slight signs of Autumn can be detected. The sun is setting earlier and sometimes a cool breeze filters through the window at night. First harvests have been happening in actuality for a while The gardens and fields have been planted, fertilized and in way too many cases fumigated with pesticides to keep out the weeds and pests. Wheat has been harvested for over a month and those fields are currently planted in soybeans to get a second harvest before winter hits. Corn is in full tassel which means that the grain is now being formed. In the gardens, tomatoes, peppers, green beans and other summer crops are in full production. Soon, I will be planting a fall garden to get a new supply of greens and other vegetables that prefer the cool nights. Now is the time to go venturing into the uncultivated acres to gather milk thistle seed and goldenrod for the herb cabinet.
This is also the time of year that the weeds in the garden and along the fencerows are coming into full maturity. It becomes obvious that I have not been diligent about keeping the weeds out of the places where I would prefer they do not grow. Well, isn't that the real definition of a weed? A weed is simply a plant growing where you do not want it. I have an overabundance of foxtail grass, lambs quarters and ragweed where the abundance is supposed to be blackberries, tomatoes and melons.
"Summer is over," Odin said to me, a couple of weeks back. I think it may have been on one of the 95+ degree days of our recent heat wave.
I blinked at Him.
He repeated it: "As I said, summer is over. The Hunt is on the move."
"Well, They should fix the weather, then," I quipped.
"Oh, They are working on it," He assured me.
I tried to laugh this off, or blame it on a moment of poor signal clarity, but that very same day, or the next, when I repeated His words to a dear friend, she offered that the leaves on her dogwood tree were changing color and that He had called her attention to that. We both agreed we could hear hoof beats in the still, heavy summer air: the Host is gearing up earlier than usual this year.