A Meditation In The Garden at Equinox

The road home in Autumn

Tuesday, September 23 is the Autumnal Equinox in the western hemisphere. During this season dedicated to change, may all of us take time to consider there would be not growth or personal evolution without change. I remember one autumn that arrived too early. It was soon after that first gush of personal magic began to flow out of my “secret spring”. My dad had always resented raking up the spent, fallen leaves that lay all over the driveway every autumn as if the spindly maple behind the lawn sofa had a personal vendetta against him. That year, while the juvenile delinquent maple was in the full leaf of the summer, Dad hammered a nail into the tree trunk to hold the hook to hold the other end of the extra clothes line.  The tree was hardly thirty years old as I looked back on it; barely a sapling.

A week later all the leaves turned screaming brilliant red, then they all fell off. The tree never came to leaf again and over the next two years, it shriveled and died. My parents sawed it down and enjoyed the warm fires it made us for a few winters, but something in me never recovered.  That is how I came to understand that Change is a mysterious thing. Sometimes it can be as sweet as maple smoke; sometimes, it can stand in our face stark naked in its honesty, draped only in a shawl of snow. I do not know why my heart stands still and hurts every time I think about that autumn over 50 years ago when my magic came and the maple tree died. Were these two changes related? Who knows?…