October

28 10 2010

“To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.” ~ George Santayana

Hunched over grace the other day, I realized that what I’d betrayed wasn’t a thing, but a way of looking at things that changes everything. October has a way of reminding you of this. Mercy was rote, miracles didn’t exist, I was okay… these were April thoughts. But here I was a week from Halloween, more leaves on the ground than in the trees, and suddenly mercy was in the air, everything was a miracle, and I was in deep trouble. Cliches collapsed at my feet like so much dust. It was Bonhoeffer’s cantus firmus at work, the interplay of opposite forces. Either I was fine, and there were no miracles, or I was in deep trouble, and miracles were everywhere.

October always reminds me why I like it so much. I like the fires in the hearth because it’s cold and windy outside. I like the light in the air because the clouds cast a melancholy hue. I like the cold because I get to wear warm sweaters. I like the fall because dying’s required, and sometimes life is overrated. And the trees don’t seem to mind. The spring will come in due time.

In the meantime, everything changes because of how you choose to see it. The thing I’d betrayed wasn’t a thing at all. It was a way of seeing, a way of tilting into things to pick up their sounds and scents. Hunched over grace the other day, it was October I’d betrayed.

A sudden gust of wind. Leaves are airborne. A swallow disappears in flight in the dying light. I wasn’t fine, thank God. And miracles were everywhere.

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