Autumnal EquinoxPosted: 09/23/2011
The long wait is over — autumn is officially here! The new season swept into town in a shower of raindrops under cover of soft gray skies. The trees have yet to flash autumn a warm greeting of color, but the mushrooms? Oh, the mushrooms! They are welcoming autumn with all their might, much to the delight of the deer, who have been eagerly dining on the delicate morsels springing up throughout the yard and woods.
So many beautiful forms! Rounded and smooth, ruffled with fringe, embossed with dots. Buttons, cones, discs. Red, yellow, and tan against the bright green moss. And, of course, stark white against the fallen leaves, black with rain. Perfect on this day of balanced light and darkness.
Each year on the equinox, I return to a beloved poem by Lisel Mueller. By now it is an integral part of my life’s yearly cycle. Favorite excerpts are below. Happy Fall, everyone!
One More Hymn to the Sun
You know that like an ideal mother
she will never leave you,
though after a week of rain
you begin to worry
but you accept her brief absences,
her occasional closed doors
as the prerogative
of an eccentric lover . . .
You like the fact that her moods are an orderly version of yours,
arranged, like the needs of animals,
by seasons: her spring quirks,
her sexual summers,
her steadfast warmth in the fall;
you remember her face on Christmas Day,
blurred, and suffused with the weak smile
of a woman who has just given birth
The way she loves you, your whole body,
and still leaves enough space between you
to keep you from turning to cinders
before your time! . . .
She never gave up on you
though it took you billions of years
to learn the alphabet
and the shadow you cast on the ground
changed its shape again and again
- Lisel Mueller, The Missouri Review, 2.1, Fall 1978