Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Breath of Autumn

I worked in the steamy kitchen, alternating between sink and bubbling canning pots, feeling hot and somewhat agitated; outside it was a glorious autumn day and I was laboring inside. I needed air.

I opened the window and the breath of autumn came in, lusty and clean. I was transported to “the Farm” once again; the only place of refuge and peace in my childhood.

I’m in the forest; it’s been raining. The tiny breeze stirring the stillness; leaves, heavily laden are drip, drip, dripping around me and on me. I don’t care; the sound is at once calming and invigorating. The forest, or “woods” as we called them, is my solace. Nothing else matters; I am safely cocooned in my personal sacred grove. The world is my own.

As I ramble, the air begins to take on a life of its own; fog begins to rise around me; the mist, light and fresh, highlights the rolling hills, bringing into definition the glories of God’s creations. As the fog lifts, so too my spirit; and, finding God in the treetops, I begin to feel His presence.

The smell of damp, decaying vegetation, combined with the earthy, leafy smell of freshly fallen leaves, make a heady scent that for me is as the sweetest rose. Rough bark streaked from the rain is giving off its own woodsy fragrance. The richest lavender fields of France could not be sweeter than my woods.

I wander for hours, never needing the companionship of anyone else, perfectly happy to gad about across the duff. My mind and my heart are free; no place that I need to go; only the need TO go.
A small stream provides me a refreshing drink if needed, and fallen logs ample resting places; yet finding peace of spirit is all I really need.

Wandering as I do, the sounds and scents of nature fill my soul to bursting; there is nothing on earth that matters, no trouble too large to overcome; peace prevails once again.

I’m cooled off now, and back at my task; I thank God for memories that let me relive the comfort and peace that was so badly needed then; I thank Him too, for the Breath of Autumn that whisked me back there, if only temporarily.