by Margaret Gibson
For today, I will memorize
the two trees now in end-of-summer light
and the drifts of wood asters as the yard slopes away toward
the black pond, blue
in the clouds that shine and float there, as if risen
from the bottom, unbidden. Now, just over the fern—
quick—a glimpse of it,
the plume, a fox-tail's copper, as the dog runs in ovals and eights,
The yard is a waiting room. I have my chair. You, yours.
The hawk has its branch in the pine.
White petals ripple in the quiet light.
In the quiet, a necklace of gourds on the fence.
A mourning cloak on a seeded spray of crabgrass.
An undulant whine of cicadas.
In my solitude, on one of my walks, I try to memorize the autumn leaves and the elegance of certain tree branches. Their lovely gestures. The way the light and the wind moves through the leaves, a message.
I've still been thinking about the line I quoted earlier this week from David Whyte's conversation with a monk:
"The antidote to exhaustion is not rest: it's wholeheartedness."
And just generally thinking about what it means to be wholehearted.
Here is Pema Chodron:
And so, we go on looking for the path that has heart. Stumbling at times, yes. All too often, it seems, some days.
The colour is slowly draining from the world, but very slowly this year, for which I'm grateful.
There is nothing more of a balm than a long autumn.
I return home from my walk, and the grass is still green in the front yard, though.
Early mornings, that touch of frost is now a regular sight.
I want to memorize it all, before the snow falls, the colours, the frost, the quiet light, the leaves, all.
And you, what will you memorize today?