Sunday, October 14, 2007

Season of Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness ... The Quiet of Autumn...

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

John Keats

The Garden Outside My Kitchen Windows, Gone Autumn-Wild, Lush and Beautiful...
(Click photo for larger version.)

It came to me today, with a sigh of relief, that we have just entered my favorite season, autumn. Since I was a little girl autumn has been my favorite time of the year, when the weather is cool and crisp, and a shawl, for me, will suffice.

I rise early with the three dogs and we walk usually before 7 a.m. The air is fresh, exhilarating, the grass dewy. The birds outside are beginning to sing and there is a hush over the land.

We walk around our favorite paths, circle the garden, delight in the morning glories abloom and the moonflowers still wide open from the night before. The sky is changing from a peachy-rose to soft, early morning blue, and I am able to take deep breaths, my whole body relaxed, somewhere between sleep and dreams and a new day rising inside my earthly form. I relish this time of day, and the colors in the autumn garden are breath-taking. The purples of the ruellia are stunning, especially set against the bright orange of the lantana, a brilliant orange bloom of tithonia, dotted with yellow Japanese kerria, a splash of white roses, pink hibiscus, and the blues and purples of the abundant salvias and sages. Just out of sight one of my favorite roses is blooming again, the old yellow rose, 'Crepuscule,' and all around me things are passing and others coming into their bloomtime as the weather cools.

I see white and pink cosmos about to bloom, and in another part of the garden my beloved little yellow, sulfur, cosmos is blooming along with purple buddleia and orange tithonia. It is enchanting. And to come upon a moonflower, as I did earlier this evening, just opening, it's fragrance filling the air around it, makes me pause in my tracks and drink it all in. Many roses are coming into bloom again now that our hot, humid coastal summer has passed, and I feel a lightening of the spirit along with the lifting of the heavy humid air.

Just a few moments ago I paused here and took the dogs out for a night-time walk. All of the birds just put to bed, the dogs are ready to go. Oh, the air felt so crisp and wonderful. The moon was hiding from us tonight, the sky a grey-blue, and just a hint of stars twinkling behind the veil filled the night with mystery and things unseen. Last night the tiniest frog I have ever seen was just outside my front door on the wall of the cottage. I thought it was a bug at first because it was not green like a tree frog and a very odd little frogling indeed was he, but I love little frogs. One of my favorite sights at night when it is dark outside and I am standing at the kitchen sink doing dishes are the tiny bright green tree frogs clinging to the little kitchen windows just opposite me. These kitchen windows look out over the garden at the top of this entry, and every morning one of the first things that I do is to peek out of the kitchen windows to see what new thing has sprung into bloom over night.

Somehow I always feel a sense of relief, as though a heavy burden were lifted, when we come into October. I love October. I remember picking apples, and freshly pressed apple cider, and it makes my mouth water now to think of it. Apple pies, redolent with cinnamon and still warm graced the kitchen counters and pumpkins, fat, roly-poly and comforting are sitting on porches, waiting to be carved, or cleaned out and baked into my favorite pie of all, pumpkin. And I clean the seeds out and bake them for my parrots who love pumpkin seeds. Such a bounty, an enviable harvest, autumn brings.

In my own life as my mother's life dwindles, and my spirit glides gently on the air currents of life, I am working to catch my breath, hard to find these days, and I am so grateful for my fiber work. I spend the evenings spinning fiber into yarn, crocheting, knitting, weaving, working on new fiber art projects and my busy hands calm my too busy mind. Nightfall brings a kind of peace and calm I am hard put to describe, but I feel my whole body relax, and the dogs just in from their evening walk are sleeping, the pugs snoring, and the only sound is the sound of the Hepa air filter, it's soft song filling the room, a pleasant backdrop to the peaceful night.

And so I am about to curl up in my fiber chair, a fawn pug beside me, and work on the new fiber piece nearly finished that will be up in my Dragonfly Cottage Design Studio store this week, as other projects lay in various stages around me. There is so much work to be done, and all the time in the world to do it. In autumn one feels no need to rush, simply to be. These days I find myself filled with gratitude for all of the things in my life. My cozy cottage, my beloved children and grandbaby, dear friends, my animal companions without whom my life would be unbearably lonely, and with whom each day is filled with joy. Books in abundance, baskets of fiber in a rainbow of colors to spin, all the accoutrements of a fiberwoman's life all around me, and life, in each tender moment, precious beyond compare.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness... I don't believe anyone has ever written of autumn more beautifully than the poet John Keats. I shall leave it at that, and give thanksgiving for all of the many blessings around me, each and every day...


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