Late summer

Growing things seem to pause now. Deep green leaves of ash, maple, and oak hang still in the humid air.  Butterflies frantically feed, flit and dance among late summer wild flowers…

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Late summer prairie grass

The new growth and excitement, the twittering birdsong of spring is a memory.  Now the grasses bend, top heavy with seed.  Dragonflies dart and zip above the prairie, sunlight reflecting from their glassy wings.

The new bird generations have all fledged and flown – Empty nests all around.  The insects sing their late summer songs, the chirp, the buzz, the whine of cricket and cicada, the tempos slowing as nights grow cooler.  The tree frogs chorusing their trance like rhythm into the wee hours, night after night.

Flowers that were bright with summer’s colors just a few weeks ago now fading, browning,  going to seed.   Still blooming, the magnificent plumes of goldenrod, masses of them,  swaying gently in the breeze.

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Goldenrod plumes

All the green rooted things hold their breath,  soak in the light of the  southward sliding sun, before the final days, the yellowing, the browning, the final dropping of seed and leaf, the dying down to the roots, the cooler autumn wind that will soon come and bring frost with it, and death.  The great letting go, before winters long nap…

Stand here on the cusp of change, knowing what is passing, knowing what is to come.  It is time for a late summer  rest.  Lie back under a friendly tree, soak up this still and timeless, day, this moment, before the sun turns to autumn once again.

 

 

Patient like a tree

Can you be patient like a tree?

Can you stand steadfast when the storms rage? Can you set forth leaves blossoms and fruit when the season is right?

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Grandmother Cottonwood, dormant

Can you let go of the old, the superfluous, last year’s leaves when they no longer feed your heart and soul? Can you rest and sleep and pull your attention inward during the long winter, gathering strength for the growth to come?

Can you feel the magnetic pull of mother earth in your roots, allowing them to be pulled into the soil and subsoil so you will be anchored deeply to your home? No matter how high and wide your reach, your deep roots will keep you secure through all seasons and all weather.

Can you allow your branches and leaves to reach and turn to the sun, to soak up and absorb the life giving light and warmth? These precious gifts are freely given to you!  They are your birthright!

When you stand tall and steadfast, when you live according to your life’s rhythms, you bless this earth with your presence; you know you belong here, a vital element in life’s tapestry. You will endure!

Wheel of the year

It is the season for low slanting sunlight, the silent message all living creatures are attuned to. Summer is past, winter will come. The wheel of the year turns.

Live each day, each moment, each breath fully, for the cycle of the year teaches us that all physical things change – nothing you can see, touch, taste, hear, smell, hold in your hand is permanent. Even the rocks beneath your feet will erode away. The huge trees that shade and shelter you will grow old and decline as young trees take their place in the canopy.

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Painted lady butterfly on red zinnia

You too are an integral part of the wheel of life.

Can you let go of what was once true about you and accept the realty of your now? Perhaps you still expect to see a physically beautiful young adult looking back from your mirror, but instead see a gray haired grandparent…

Beneath the physical aspect of our reality – which so many of you seem so attached to – lies your indestructible spirit and that, my dear will never grow old, never die.

As the earth cycles into a new season, as your body grows older, as the landscape changes beneath your feet, Remember your indestructible spirit that lies at the very heart of your existence here on our beloved planet.

Letting go

The season of letting go has come around on the cosmic wheel once again. I will soon release this year’s crop of golden leaves that soaked up the sun and fed me all summer. It is the time of the waning year, the waning moon. Time to let go.

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Grandmother Cottonwood, golden leaf

I must release my beautiful crown of leaves that shimmered in the breeze through sunlight and shadow, moonlight and midsummer heat. They will not needed during the cold dark months.

Releasing, surrendering, letting go – good practice for the final act of letting go that all living creatures must experience – a rehearsal for death, the great transition.

I bow to the cycles of life and death, to the inevitable. I make ready for winter, withdraw my attention from outward things, pull my awareness inward, down to my roots as my sap cools and subsides.

I will soon be ready for my winter’s rest, my dreaming time. There will be nothing to grasp hold of, no responsibilities, nothing to do or be or have, no agenda, no leaves to maintain. All the trappings of summer – released.

I may seem inert, even dead to those who pass by, yet deep inside, in my roots, below the surface of the soil, my inner hearth fire embers glow, ready to spring into life once again after the long winter nights give way to spring.

The great release

Once again we come to the time of letting go, the great release as the leaves we’ve held onto for so long this year are finally relieved of duty. For a brief time they blaze with breathtaking color. Let your eyes take in and enjoy our gorgeous color! Soon enough they become the soil at our feet they as they wither and brown and decay. Next year’s plant food.

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Red Virginia Creeper leaves

Now through the bare bones of our winter branches we have a chance to see feel and know the underlying structure beneath the summer show. We see what is rooted, what endures from year to year, through the cold months as well as the warm, not just the shimmering temporary summer show.

You too have an underlying structure. You are a web of invisible energy, permeating the physical body. This is the structure on which your life and body are built. Your energy endures from lifetime to lifetime without end.

When you keep your subtle energy flowing, healthy, and vibrant your life pulses with health and glows with vitality.

Did you live fully?

Did you live fully this summer?

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Red maple leaf

Did you wade in the stream, skip stones, feel the sun on your face, listen to the birdsong, the droning insects, sit at the base of a friendly tree and allow yourself to be? Did you laugh with your friends? Did you lay in the shade and watch the clouds float above? Did you make your own fun?

Did you do what your heart desired? Did you do what satisfied your soul and made you happy? Did you give yourself permission to enjoy life?

Did you follow your intuition, your best inner nudges and hunches? Did you do the uplifting thing when you had a choice?

Did you choose the actions that created harmony within yourself and with others? Did you allow the full power of the light within you to shine?

Now it is time to gather in the harvest, pick fruit from the trees, and tell stories by the fire.  It is time to let go of the old and gather energy for the new growth already stirring within you.

Come and visit!

I’ve gotten my “haircut” for the year. Most of this year’s leaves are already scattered around my base, yellow and decaying, becoming food for next year’s growth and shimmering display.  A few of my dying leaves, still attached, flutter in the fall breeze sending silvery light through the woods and prairie margins. 

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Grandmother Cottonwood

Come and visit us here in the woods. Quiet down and listen to the sighing the singing, the flowing and fluttering, the heartbeat of the natural world that supports and feeds and nurtures each and every one of us.

Come visit your fellow earth inhabitants! Know that we love you!  Turn off that shiny “smart” object, put it in your pocket and commune with us.  Tune into your wild nature and remember your roots in the rich earth.  You are a beloved spirit, an irreplaceable part of the web of the whole.

We nature spirits and beings long to connect and uplift you, to soothe and comfort, and hold your feet firmly to the earth, the magnificent green planet that is our home.

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Hackberry tree bark

Lie on our fragrant cushion of fallen leaves, listen to the rushing creek, the birdsong, the crickets. Know that you belong, that we all belong together.