It has been two months to the day that I last posted anything. I feel as if I had pushed the pause button sometime in late July and now I long to be restored to me. There are good and bad things in me, secret passageways and surprises in me that I was afraid I had lost.
The raucous summer season of abundance where one after another, children and friends, came for their summer visit, and we all went from one event to another, art openings, readings, fairs, hiking, sailing, swimming, fishing has ended. I had the great good fortune to be doing one of those readings with my close friend, Anne Damrosch, a wonderful poet and one of the finer human beings on this planet. We have spent many years reading each other’s work and critiquing each other, but we’ve never had a chance to read together. It was a true highlight of my summer.
Now we are entering the quieter season of autumn. I call it the season of clearing out and cleaning up. It’s kind of like after the party of summer there is a lot of debris that we have to clear away. The gardens have to be put to bed, the last of the squash, carrots and beets harvested and the porch furniture put away.
And yet while the blueberry barrens are already turning crimson, the trees changing from deep green to red and gold and purple, and the sun rising further and further to the south, the temperatures are still warm and there is a lingering sweetness to the air. I tell myself to slow down and enjoy these last warm days. Yesterday to my surprise there was a hummingbird, fat with nectar, who was still hanging around to get one or two last drops from the last of my phlox.
I feel as if this summer I have been going so fast I have been absent to all that is around me. So now I have to remind myself to be more present. So why am I thinking about a niece’s wedding in Nashville Tennessee in mid October and almost missing the flicker in the bright red berries of our mountain ash in mid September? What am I doing spending my time checking my email instead of noticing the trail of silver the moon left on the bay?
That’s what I asked myself after I heard the first unmistakable peep. There was no denying it when the brown and black bantam raised her feathers like a shield and screeched at me from way above my head in the rafters of the goat stall. I had sworn I was not going to let a single hen set on any eggs because I wasn’t sure I wanted more chickens. This particular hen had gone missing…at least I had noticed that… for several weeks. I was sure the bald eagle who lives in the woods in front of our farm had swooped in and caught her for dinner. But no! While I was busy doing everything but noticing what was around me, she had hatched 7 baby chicks!
So of course I couldn’t let them stay there and fall into a rather large water tub that was right under them. So one by one, with Mama hen pecking my fingers until they ached, I removed the chicks and placed them in my special chick pen where they are safe until they are big enough to be around the other hens. Mama squawked and squawked until she located them and flew into the pen to be with them. And that’s when my pause button got released.
Once again, I owe my animals. In so many different ways they continue to rescue me from the business of life and return me to the goodness of life that begins in Love and ends in Love. Wherever we are right now, whatever hard place we may find ourselves in, this Love is always waiting to rescue us and return us to the joy and peace we are created for. In the flickering golden light of autumn, I give thanks that the hope of new life is always being renewed no matter the season.