Today, by the river I saw the Cottonwood.
They held aloft their golden offerings,
under a sky of frost-tinged blue.
They allowed the gentle winds
to strip away their finest garb,
leaf by leaf, as if they yielded
their richest legacies: Lessons
learned in months of quiet
contemplation, toil from life
under ruthless sun-baked skies.
These fluttered to the ground.
I manage spring. I know how to accept
the gifts I am offered, the rich loamy soil,
the gentle rain and each seed, filled
with promise. I can take those bequests,
insert a song of praise, and transform
each into stuff of seeming beauty.
It is fall when I stumble. I am a hoarder.
I fear letting go of all I harvest.
Is this sacrifice sufficient? Couldn’t I,
with just another day, a bit more effort,
produce a more bountiful crop to share?
And, must I, like the trees give everything away?
Will I ever have enough, then? How can I be enough?
And, if I shed these golden leaves,
where will I find the comforts
I will need in the chilly blasts
of harsh wind still to come?
Today, the calendar marks the passing
of yet another month, another season.
Fall leaves impel me to yield my own donations.
I ask for the courage, the faith
to blow into the upcoming winter,
dressed in only this life-toughened bark.
I do not move on naked! See?
I’m adorned with the memories
of summers past, and the certitude
of next spring’s seed.
"With all the beauty surrounding me here above the Verde Valley, how could I not create more beauty?"