It’s one of the most beautiful Fall seasons I can remember and one filled with so many sensatorial gifts. The colours are unrelenting and, despite the equally unrelenting rain, it looks like we will have a great show for a few more weeks. The earth smells thick and rich as leaves and plants fold back into it, a nutritious decay. Geese, loud and exuberant, curve across the sky and the beating wings of hundreds of starlings rising from the corn fields sound like the ocean surf.
The baskets of produce in the kitchen speak to a summer spent tending the garden well. That there are friends who still want more produce speak to years of cultivating joyful relationships of give-and-give-enough. Frank is totally chuffed by the hot chillies he managed to coax out of our short growing season and he attributes it to mindful coercing. I’m thrilled that the roses we transplanted from my mother’s garden continue to bloom; their fragrant scent fills the zendo and the altar is alive with their colour.
There are many lessons emerging from these days which I’ll unpack over the week. Gratitude, of course, is a typical one this time of year as we savour the Summer’s bounty of carrots, beets, apples, and pumpkins. For added spice, today is Thanksgiving here in Wild North. Oddly, gratitude is a feeling I take for granted because I connect with it as something that arises when good things happen. Then I received a post from a friend which showed me the secret ingredient in gratitude. She wrote: Happy Gratitude Attitude! How neat to see something special planted deep inside the word! Gratitude becomes relational, an attitude we can cultivate towards our experience. More important, for me, it becomes a stance to my experience that is independent of the experience itself.
Thank you for practising,