This season which has turned cold, the leaves are fallen and the surrender of nature’s green glowing majesty underway. The days shorter, and increasingly so are given to the gray and dark of a season bound to return, bound to the yielding that must ensue. We behold an ending, the browns and the blacks of decay, the stark and solemn of nature, she settles in; and this is all around us. As are the moments at early dusk when the day still feels of youth and the sky is crisp and blue, the crystal frozen communities on windshields, at river banks, ponds and creeks. I contract with the chill, the harsh freeze of it all. Also I find expansion into the warmth of a fire, asana, slow cooked warm nutrition. I am quieted with this nature, the grief in this turning a real presence; and too, I find that holding grief’s hand is such a tenderness, it is a hand that opens as the other closes, holding it gently. It is the beauty of presence, of looking and turning inward, a journey back from whence we came.

Birdwings by Jelaluddin Rumi
Your grief for what you’ve lost lifts a mirror
up to where you’re bravely working.

Expecting the worst, you look, and instead,
here’s the joyful face you’ve been wanting to see.

Your hand opens and closes and opens and closes.
if it were always a fist or always stretched open,
you would be paralyzed.

Your deepest presence is in every small contracting
and expanding,
The two as beautifully balanced and coordinated
as birdwings.