A photo walk thru the woods...

I took a most amazing field trip this Sunday with my beginning photography class. I'm so glad I went, despite the fact that I am not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. Fall is in full glorious bloom right now and the beauty is mind boggling to this Californian girl.

I sat next to this tree for awhile, in a rapture. Taking pictures, yes, but also just entranced by the path and the slope and the colors around me. Golden leaves were falling sporadically. I felt transported to a simpler moment.

The pathway beckoned, but I did not follow. In truth, I felt no compunction to go anywhere. Just to sit and be, that was enough.

The light, the colors. This was Fall as I have never known it before. Crisp and clear. Aflame with the end of life.

And the dying leaves had never looked so triumphant to me before. This was not some glorious suicidal impulse, no. This was Death as the end of a cycle, a slow turning. These are the leaves golden years and then, slipping away to fall on to the ground where they will continue their metamorphoses.

Isn't this truly is the goal, then? Not the bright burning out of the rock song, but the slow burning desire to hang on and shine forth until the wind comes, until the moment I must be blown away? The gradual turning. The gliding descent. The decomposition. The majesty of seasons, of being in my place and time and knowing that this place and this time are my birthright.

This is the blessing of the beauty of age, of what could be called imperfection to the uninitiated. This is the essential quest of my life, to realize the perfect is the imperfect, the Wabi Sabi. To realize that those broken places I feared would never heal are truly becoming the cracks that let in the light.

There is no time but now. There are no wounds that will not heal. No body that will not decompose. No matter that will not turn into other matter. Metamorphosis. Decomposition. Dying. Shining.

The days turn and I am witness. The light wanes but does glorious things in its waning. And it can only be this golden because of the season, because the year has turned.

And so I am finally coming to understand seasons. Place, time, light. And in the midst of it all is my presence, my awareness and my love, as long as I am available to simply be. To sit in awareness and listen to the wind blowing through the leaves on a bright fall day in the falling tide of the year. To watch the world as it presents itself to me and to be awed by its beauty, just because it is so very beautiful.

[After publishing this post, which people were able to see, sometime in the past year the links to all the photos died. I have tried to recreate the post, but the formatting is odd and I forgot which photos went where. Therefor, I have created an "extended edition" ebook, which is available here.]