I am so overcome with the beauty around where I live. Autumn is just past its peak but the colors are still vivid and rich. The almost uniform green of summer has faded away and the more fiery hues shine brilliant. In the afternoon hours, the yellow leaves still clinging to trees act like gel filters permitting the sunlight to pass through and emerge pure and radiant. In counterpoint, the trunks and branches form a dark, abstract network holding up this vast, delicate lumière.
The fallen leaves scattered along roads and paths illuminate my walks. They create beautiful patterned carpets that give me as much cause to keep my head lowered as look up at the seemingly reflected blaze above. I am awash in light. There is a sacredness in this. We are each chosen to be anointed with the luminescence. As though our openness to receive it will determine how well we will shine our own way through the dark hours of winter.
In this season of harvest and stocking up for leaner times, it is reassuring to store, can, freeze, dehydrate, pickle and ferment. Wood is chopped and stacked. Fuel for inner and outer warmth. But that is not enough to keep the soul content. It is sustained by beauty and light. When the nights stretch far and the days barely get past gray, the soul reaches into the larder of memories infused with that energy only the truly aesthetic can contain. Like sunrises and sunsets, the emerging butterfly, a cobweb strung with raindrops twinkling in the sun, nascent growth revealed by the melting snow, the vibrancy and utter exuberance of the fall foliage. Harnessing the power of natural wonders nourishes the psyche. Its the difference between surviving and thriving. So I must linger in the light of the leaves and fill myself to the brim. To carry this gift within me is the challenge I must take up in order to pass the bleak periods with grace and dignity. The ultimate harvest.
(c)2014 Shobha Vanchiswar