October Poem

One Good Wind

It’s October so yes, the world
is dying but I always think
I have another month
at least, maybe two,
to marvel in the middle
of fall’s kaleidoscope,
walking the fractal trance
of kindergarten yellows and
(somehow!) iridescent pinks.
But then one good wind
comes in off the distant Pacific 
and trees that just yesterday 
dripped with dazzle
stand skeletized, stripped
of their abundance for the
promiseless months to come.
I guess what I’m trying to say is:
don’t save up your praise. 
Luxuriate fully in what you love
because the winds come quickly
and the winter is long.

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There are two kinds of harvest in the fall.

There’s the kind you do intentionally: the gathering and processing of what’s grown.

And then there’s the kind fall does despite you.

Jane Hirshfield has a great poem called “Ripeness” that touches on this. She starts:

Ripeness is
what falls away with ease.
Not only the heavy apple,
the pear,
but also the dried brown strands
of autumn iris from their core.

The first kind is sweetness and sustenance. The “heavy apple, the pear.” It’s what you’ve been dreaming of that finally comes to its moment of fruition.

The second is the “dried brown strands.” The parts of you that wilt and wither and fall away, no matter how hard you try to keep them green and growing.

This is the harvest of compost. Of the world making year’s soil.

When you fight against a fall that’s wanting to happen in your life you’re refusing that first kind of harvest.

I’ve done plenty of that refusing.

But in my experience, autumn comes anyway. And everything I didn’t harvest instead falls into compost.

On the other hand when you know a season or a relationship is ending, what’s sweet about it becomes exponentially sweeter.

When you accept the fall, the harvest becomes clear.

It calls you to be fully present to the sweetness that’s available right here, right now. To bring it into your body, into your heart.

To be nourished by the ripeness of this moment before it passes.

I hope this poem helps remind you to do just that.