Over the past several days, I’ve watched the maple tree between the laundry room window and the Mountain. Slowly, the vibrant green has yellowed to gold, and today, the whole tree now blazes a brilliant vermilion. Other trees still wear their green, like our own maples, while yet others are changing into their yellow robes. Across the street and all through the neighborhood, those that have apple trees have the golden and scarlet fruits of the season.
The air bites when I step out into the chill, sending a delicious shiver down my spine. I am constantly in a state of in between, my dragon self balances well with my human self, and so I can sense when my plumes stand up a little, and the shiver passes clear to the tip of my tail. When walking in this, the blasts of wind the town site was chosen for combs through my head and I can’t always resist the urge to spread my wings and revel in the feel.
Now is the time for hot apple pies heavy with cinnamon, and soon the pumpkins will be ready for harvest. Thoughts of warm pumpkin bread and persimmon cookies dance through my head. Sometime soon, I know that I will give in to the desire for pie, and indulge in the ecstasy that comes with baking, and then eating the fruits of my labors with loved ones.
The sky is gray, the clouds high and not touching the Mountain; yet again I’m sure the Mountain will wear a little more white. The wind and rain that caresses the land at night brings forth a purr from me, and inwardly I coil. Now is not the time to den though. This is the season of the harvest and the hunt.
Where Tia is, I know that she feels similar urges to mine. If I close my eyes, even during the day I can hear the short pant of her breath as we run through the forests in our dreams. Though we are different species, there are things that we share…
However, it is the waking world of physical form that I am in now, not the metaphysical one where not all is as it seems at first glance. Even in this waking world, I can practice my art. I can be One with Nature, draw it deeply into myself.
I have noticed that lately I have started wearing clothes that echo the changing leaves, a subconscious nod to the stately trees that teach me so much. The trees begin to draw their essence further inside of themselves, and I do as well.
The chill encourages this, this time of introspection and preparation. Now is a good time to finish things, and then I can have a little rest. The earth murmurs softly as the wind passes by, a reminder that change is the only constant.
The ranges around are still mostly green; various evergreens make up most of our forests here, despite the deciduous trees that are beginning their turning.
It is said that at this time, the veil between worlds is thin, and I’m inclined to believe it. I’ve always noticed that at this time of year, dreams become easier to recall and more vivid. It could be inspired by the weather, which inspired deep contemplation, but there is more to it.
The pendulum swings and the wheel turns, this is the way of my world. The voices grow louder, and sometimes even those that aren’t particularly open have interesting experiences.
It is also said that, in folklore and traditionally, anything left in the fields after the 31, must be left for the fey folk. Not only is it easier to pass between worlds, but they need food as well… It’s said that they blight anything left in the fields, I have sometimes wondered whether it’s because of the freeze possibility messing with the food, or whether it’s from them taking the essence… or some combination. At any rate, much of modern society doesn’t seem to follow this.
Perhaps it is a good idea to let the late stuff stay though… the nutrients return to the ground to nourish the earth, and animals have food to eat… The deer will not be quite so hungry, and the predators will benefit from this, but so will those prey animals that are fed upon. With the scat and vegetation turned under, the soil will be richer, and we will have a little less impact. But these are random thoughts as I let myself mingle with the season.
The waters grow colder with the temperature changes, and soon enough the lakes will begin to freeze. Ice will form over the rivers, though some larger ones will stay unfrozen. Small streams will sleep. But for now, we are between, and Summer mixes with Winter to make this Autumn.
Some traditions depict this time as a War between the two Kings of Summer and Winter. I’ve often thought of it more as the union of Summer and Winter, the blending and uniting of the two… male and female each season, yet neither sex as well. Two forces or essences swirling and merging, pressing into each other until at last… one gives with a last sleepy sigh and gentle nuzzle.
Summer sleeps then in the arms of Winter, and he/she covers them both with a mantle of snow as he/she watches the Beloved sleep and incubate the new life, resting for the next shifting in the Spring.
This is the Deep Magic, working with these forces that eternally shift and merge, draw apart and dance together again. This is what holds me trapped as I dance with Life and Death, Growth and Rest.
When people ask me what I think about the weather, I never know how to answer them in the moment. It is the weather, and the season, and I am a part of it, responding ever to the promptings. I’d like to share the ecstasy that a good gust of wind gives me as it passes by, leaves swirling giddily in its wake.
This is all that I can do… leave you with a taste and a touch, and let you hear the sighs of Summer and Winter in their Autumn Meeting.