Today I made peace with fall. Cold fingers, chilly air, numb skin, warm chest under a feather stuffed vest, standing in the wake of a fruitful garden. The explosion of color and nutrients is over though. I remember a day back in August when rain came down and steamed into the hot soil and I was standing in it plucking bind-weeds and dandelions from the earth reeling in a feeling of ultimate freedom. The rain on my back and melting into my hair reached my scalp warm and dripped down my neck, warmer. It straightened my posture and the succulent green all about me looked delicious and comforting all at once and I decided that if I could not consume this rich living beauty of the garden then it must consume me.
It stated with my feet. I took off my shoes and felt the warm grit of wet soil scratch and caress my toes and then, my knees gave way to it's pull and I found myself on all fours, crawling into the cool space between the roots of a mammoth sunflower and a patch of tall cosmos in full bloom.
Then, when my limbs no linger carried me, I slipped into the earth on my belly. It was cool against the warm of my skin. The kind of cool that is mercy on a hot day. The kind of cool that floods the insides of watermelons and ahhhhhh.... there. the green from the leaves was like light, glowing. A new sky. The earth around my body and soul, a new me. Through my skin I drank the raindrops. The raindrops were slowing now, the sunlight a celestial delight in the distant space cracked a clouds and warm. Green, and then a glimpse of pink. And I, a celestial sphere in my own orbit. bowing in the breeze, shaking off the rain. Leaves, I see your underside! I am in the soil and you are looking at the sun. Bring the sun to me! You did. The sun powers my thoughts, my movement. I am spinning with the universe now. On m stomach, now on my back, I want to be swallowed!
The white feathery roots of the cosmos tickle my arms. I am no larger than a caterpillar and the stalks of these flowers are pillars of my world. Green pillar feeding on the sun and they are alive! Breathing air into my lungs they feed my oxygen! Breathing out I see a whimsical leaf flutter under my nostrils. Let me feed you this:
I have nothing but my breath to give. But the spirit does but mean the breath. How long can I here in this green haven of a summer shower? I want to grow roots and sprout up: change my skin from brown to green and my toes turn white and fine like tender roots. A green pillar eating rain and soil and sunshine. I don't need a formula for respiration to know how to breathe! If I bury myself like a seed, will I sprout? what will my cotyledon look like? Thin and feathery or fat and stout? These questions, this desire to be consume by the garden is boiling up, fierce. I ball up and shift back and forth, deeper into the puddle created by an impromptu monsoon.
Then, I saw them. The cosmos in their element. The stars of creation that I will only bear witness to.
Then, there is no ME. No me, not anymore. Just a vast consciousness. A vastness so great and full of wondrous and terrible things all at once! The eyes, the ears ... all of the senses of the living creatures that is this vast consciousness experiencing itself. Physical living things manifest the creation itself! Because of this consumption it is so. But without the "Me" how does this vast operation acknowledge it's own work? Calm and still, tightly bound slowly expanding, then, pop! I am suspended again. I have a purpose. I am opened and alive. breathing but not with my lungs. Eating but not with my mouth. White roots where my toes once were...
And then I feel again. The cool, the warm, the urgency of a short life. Bloom! Every fiber of my sprouting being wants to blossom and create seeds and do it all over again so my type survives. How warm, how delicious. Consume yourself and find out if you're good to eat. Or bad? Or edible at all?
I have leaves now. My cotyledons shed. A pink bud at my tip is about to pop open and expose a pollen-coated yellow center.
Up, up I ascend when rain straightens my posture, I reach and soar into the cosmos.