Wednesday, September 30, 2009

the seasons turn

Autumnal Equinox ’09

the air, warm and as full of water as at high summer,
rolls shower after shower over us,
the clouds hang on and only release the Sun
for moments midday today,
just enough to let us see the Sol Pole’s shadow at noon,
standard time,
we gather around our marker of the seasons’ change
and chant loudly together of “day & night, half & half,”

and somehow the clouds part enough so that
the Sun shadows the pole onto the chiseled mark,

each year has two middles with day & night equal,
and noon is the middle of each day,
and we work today to notice that underlying truth,

yet what Sun & Earth dance can be but a frame
within which we live lives with their own dynamic
that can be at odds with
the stately, courtly turns of the heavens,

our school year has just begun and is full of energy & promise,
and the effort of getting inertia to work for us and not against us,

the trees are still mostly green and race
to make and store the most of this year that they can,
yellow, red, and gold just start to show themselves in the woods,
acorns drop like gunfire onto the metal of my woodpiles
and through the foliage in the woods,
my first chestnuts drop and the muscadine grapes finish,
their taste sweet & sour like the Equinox itself,
in the garden okra and tomato decide
to go gently into the night that comes,
the lettuce germinated and seems to pause
and even reverse in its growing
until the days & nights remember to cool,
the day lightens later and later
and the dark comes earlier and earlier,

I feel ready to shake myself awake
when the growing year decides to let itself finish
and to celebrate what it has accomplished
with a final harvest and a flaring of autumnal color,

I am ready to chill
and to then feel comfortable enough
to let the color of myself blaze brighter
than summer’s heat lets me.

by Henry Walker
September 24, ‘09

1 comment:

Ike Walker said...

How wonderful to read about this tradition continuing! I remember combining vanilla and chocolate sandwich cookies as a kid to make equinox cookies.

I like the image of the lettuce slowing and reversing its growth.