Equinox and Equal Light with Equanitmity

DSC_0090

As the equinox of autumn slinks steadily toward us through elegant long-legged shadows, and glimmering streams of gold-tingedlight, I am reminded that “equinox” from the Latin means “equal night”. I guess we can also fairly call it autumn “equilucis” or “equal light” as well, because it is the time of year when sun and moon have equal chance at the bluescape of the sky, whether it be pale cerulean or midnight indigo.

It in the spirit of “equinox” and “equilucis” I see the opportunity for myself to become a set of balanced scales. I see myself on this threshold of autumn delicately tiptoeing onto, then standing strong and stately, upon the scales of equanimity.

One definition of equanimity is: “mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in a difficult situation” with synonyms like “composure, calm, level-headedness, self-possession, presence of mind, self-confidence, poise, serenity, and imperturbability”.

I find myself this day seeking a place on that set of scales. I see myself deftly, carefully placing one foot onto one silver scale, and then gently onto the other. Then holding firm, eyes set on the horizon of both night and day.

I invite you here, too.

 

Advertisements

Good Medicine

IMG_0225

The smooth days of ordinary time are upon us. I’m not talking about a lack of pokes and jabs that comes with the usual surprises of life’s interventions, but on the liturgical calendar we are indeed in what we call “ordinary time.”

I like this. It is a good time, and a great excuse to ponder the ordinary. It is the very reason to nestle into a blue sky clotted with clouds, or indulge in the fine art of slicing and dicing whatever is sitting in your produce bowl with extra attention and hopeless gratitude. It is to me, a reminder, that being human is all of these things, and getting to have the mind to recognize it.

In her book, “The 13 Original Clan Mothers”, Jamie Sams helps revive in me the graceful art of noticing the natural world. Not as chore, but as human delight. In this spirit, a poem was born:

Good Medicine

It is no sin

to sit under the tutelage of clouds

and learn the fine art of rolling and lolling,

your body tumbling under the influence of

a finely-winded blue sky

or shimmering silver

under the influence of rain.

It is no sin

to spend a day with a bag of apples,

aptly fallen not far from its tree, holding each bulb,

taking notice of green skin, yellow skin, red skin,

some mottled, otherworldly. And alternately peel them

for the pot or roll them like bowling balls

into the forest for other wild stomachs.

It is no sin

to massage the fur of a paw-foot friend and stare out into

the sea of nothingness, everythingness,

or to write poems like this one, as the day sinks away.

Somehow, it is in our DNA.

– Gina Marie Mammano

May your ordinary days bring out extraordinary joys.

A wink and a celebration

IMG_0094

Turning again toward the door of autumn, under the lintel of of September, I find it can be an opportunity to seek out celebration. I spoke with a newly made acquaintance the other day who, in the context of learning to live out Pacific Northwest winters, said, “find all the colors in the gray!” A great way to attune your eye to, and celebrate, the awareness of the season you’re living in, I thought.

So I ask myself, what colors can I find in the golden turning of September? Where are the nuances, the subtleties in the spectrum of this new season, or this new season in my life? Your life? The light seems to wink at us this time of year as it passes through leaf-shapes and colors of change. How about a little celebration toward what these changes might have in store for us?

A Celebration Blessing

Now is the time
to free the heart,
Let all intentions and worries stop,
Free the joy inside the self,
Awaken to the wonder
of your life.

Open your eyes and see the friends
Whose hearts recognize your face as kin,
Those whose kindness watchful and near,
Encourages you to live everything here.

See the gifts the years have given,
Things your effort could never earn,
The health to enjoy who you want to be
And the mind to mirror mystery.

– John O’Donohue.

IMG_1284

photo by Ginny Schneider

Transitioning into September

DSC_0089

Summer is daintily putting on her September gown, donning a sheath of early winds, as golden leaves are already dropping in small doses like up-dos falling into their autumn tresses. Watching summer transition over into autumn up here in western Washington can be a difficult thing. We waited so long for this warm, bright season, and now we find ourselves bidding farewell to blue skies and longer passages of light, only to wonder when the rain will set in, those long, drippy days, bathed in grey flannel skies.

I found a gentler way to cross this threshold, however, and it includes choice words. Knowing others have tiptoed lightly into September over centuries, millennia, and written about it, for some reason, gives an ounce or two of comfort, and brings beauty to an otherwise dreary passageway.

“The Spirit of Gardening” website at http://www.gardendigest.com/quotes.htm has been just the spoonful of delight that has helped me enjoy this threshold over the last few years. Choose a month, choose a season, and you’ll be treated to snatches of poetry and yummy quotes that hold your hand when nature’s changes come.

How can you resist John Updike’s quote from his poem “September”:

“Like plates washed clean/ With suds, the days/ Are polished with/ A morning haze. 

or “Smoke hangs like haze over harvested fields, The gold of stubble, the brown of turned earth And you walk under the red light of fall . . .” a quote from an Autumn Equinox ritual. How can you not appreciate the turns of season more with such choicely worded offerings!