Thursday, October 22, 2009

Autumn Reflections

About a month and a half ago I drove to Sacramento, passing the Adobe Farm pumpkin patch, and saw the workers out in the field planting this year's crop. When I drove by earlier this month I was amazed at how quickly the plants were growing. It immediately conjured up the memory of my last two years' visits to the farm, where each weekend is a real autumn festival, especially for children. I've always loved fall: the crispness in the air, the colors of the leaves, something about the late afternoons, the harvest time. There's a certain magic to searching, amidst all the excited little ones and their parents at the farm, for just the right two or three pumpkins which I can take home, carve creatively (!), and set upon the gate posts for the delight of trick-or-treaters, come All Hallows Eve.

Fall seems also to be a particularly meditative time of year. It's probably inevitable, as I age, that I think about the time I have left on this wondrous earth, about the eventual transition from this plane of existence for which my body and soul have been rehearsing, in multiform ways, since birth. I'd certainly like to hang around long enough to continue doing what I can to make this a better, more sustainable earth for all those who will follow. I'm not really anxious to go; but I'm also trying gracefully to hold myself open to the point when it will be time to take leave, and to join the many
loved ones whose company I've missed for so long.

On Labor Day weekend I was most definitely at home. I don't drive, if I can avoid it, on holiday weekends, for obvious reasons. I was thinking about all those who share the noble task of labor, on whatever level, and found myself hoping that, this coming year, the economy will show definite signs of a resurgence, that the pain and dislocation caused to so many by others' previous greed and selfishness, might begin to be relieved, that as a society we might, by then, have begun to gain some wisdom to reevaluate and recenter our lives and priorities, and at least regain some sense of civility in our public discourse!

Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to be with family, to rejoice in the blessings (hopefully) that we are to one another, and generally among people and within communities. Beyond that, along with many others, I continue to try to think of ways to be more sensitive to and to address the needs of others who don't have the luxury of looking forward to the holidays (or most days) with any kind of real hope.

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