The trail has been the setting for a soul-stilling production created by the Holy Artist this week, fitting for the time when we celebrate the festival of St. Francis, whose spirit came most alive when he was with his family of choice: all of nature and her non-human inhabitants.
We’ve had days when the sun’s brilliance infused the fall colors so vividly that I had to un-saturate photographs to make them look “real.” Everywhere a burning bush demanded attention and invited quiet listening for what it wanted to tell me.
Yesterday, as leaves fell all around me, a song my mother used to sing to us at bath time ran through my head. “’T ain’t no sin/To shake off your skin/And dance around in your bones!” It seems the trees in autumn are shedding their skins and revealing the bones beneath, a reminder, perhaps, that we need to keep working at dropping our own masks, the false selves and ways of being that keep us from our center and from creating our lives authentically, with the sweet, genuine essence of our uniqueness.
The other revelation has been discovering seed heads forming everywhere, all at once. The wildflowers along the trail and those designated as weeds have enchanted me with the exquisite architecture and distinctness of their seeds and ways of dispersing them, readying for spring’s renewal even as the mother plants die back into autumn frost.
Tomorrow, the weather will turn. The temperature will shift from 73◦ to the mid-50’s and as low as 26◦ within a few nights. The change will bring welcome rain, along with high winds that will likely bring down the rest of our glorious leaves.
Time to shake off the skin and dance around in our bones!
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