Grounded.  And still so far away from where I want to be.

Forever longing.  Is this the state of human nature?

Touching down on solid ground.  Become a part of the elements.  Return to soil.

Autumn. Falling into place.  As if I intended it this way.

Dealing with the empty nest by filling it with six laying hens and a rooster just learning to crow.

The scratch and clang of yet another pack rat captured in the have-a-heart trap set under the front deck.  The season of rodents is winding down.   They all want to come in. How plentiful this year has been.  Attracting the added bonus of hawks that have come to heed the call of this bountiful crop, fed full by the warmest, driest longest summer we remember.  Or are our memories always painted more lush than reality was?

And now the coyote, mother and two pups, crossing out on pasture, undisturbed by the running horses.  Mother drops below the horizon, while children linger, distracted by a tall patch of dried grass and the stirring within.  They stop, arch, spring load, and pounce.  Then scamper off to catch up with mother.

Mother, mentor, magician or priest.  Someone show me the way when I am a little lost.

I write a friend and look for answers and only find more questions:  I tell her there is some darkness that comes over me every fall. Perhaps the change of light. Not a real sadness for the loss of summer, for with that means the arrival of winter and the departure of many things I could do without, and that’s all good stuff. I don’t understand what it could be.

Except… human nature… reflective… wanting more…

Falling.  Down.  Chilling, clearing, washing away…

I do my best to fill the emptiness inside, lighten the inevitable darkening.  I keep busy.  There are always things to do.  Laundry, bake, feed the horses, walk the dog, split wood, paper work.  I want more.

Falling leaves.  How quickly the trees let loose of their brilliant display, the grande finale, the dramatic completion.

To be replaced by what?  Barren trees.  Still hillside and silent winds.  Dormancy and hibernation.  The season of turning within.

I find myself sitting here doing nothing.  There is nothing I have to do.  I have never thought that was a healthy state.  I prefer to keep busy, have a full plate, have things that have to be done, deadlines, a little bit of pressure, point and purpose, you know?

How lucky I am to be able to have nothing, you might say.  But those are foolish words.  For who is lucky who is not employed, not doing enough, not with direction and meaning to each day.  I have never wanted ennui, abhor sloth, and fight them and the ensuing poverty that they carry with them as an added burden.

Get out and enjoy it, you say.  The rain holds me back. I’ll find other excuses.  One can’t keep going out “enjoying.”  At some point, responsibilities and realities ruin the fun.  I want to be productive, do something positive.  Yes, even make the world a better place.  Why not?

“I do not have a mansion,

I haven’t any land,

Not one paper dollar

To crinkle in my hand

But I can show you morning

From a thousand hills

And kiss you

And give you seven daffodils…”

(from an old folk song I once heard beautifully sung around a campfire I never was brave enough to sit near enough to warm my soul)

How simple can we be

Forever needing point and purpose

In this ever changing world

When some days change does not  come when and where we look for it

The gears are stuck

We are left waiting

The jolt, release, exhilaration of letting go

Now what?  We’ve fulfilled our calling in life of providing vacations, searching for something deeper, more meaningful.

Where is the yellow brick road hiding, or how far am I from finding the way?

51 thoughts on “Grounded

  1. Your words are exquisitely written. I fully understand the need to be busy, to be doing something productive. But it isn’t wise. One needs a spate of time for rest and regeneration, for the development of wisdom. perhaps it is a time of gratitude, a time for sending loving energy into the world (thus changing it). Fall is my favorite time of year. Your photos are lovely. I would love to see you link your words and thoughts to Occupy Thursday at Amy’s place. That is where I found you.

  2. You are doing something wonderful for us everytime you write. Your thoughts are important, they are inspiring, they make me think – evaluate, they bring me peace. Thank you!

  3. So this time, the leaves have…what? Tears?

    You have the answers, Gin. They are within you. You’ll find them so rich and brilliant they may frighten you. They’ll scare you into believing they are not you. They are. Own them. You are that beautiful.

  4. Words as balm… thank you… gifts I share with you, you return in kind as if arms set open are filled with a warm embrace.

    Raven, I look forward to sharing more, to reading more, and if I’m brave enough, opening up more. Somehow SoulDipper has already helped me do so. Yet what troubles me still is at this stage in my life, it still comes back to ME. I wonder about selflessness and have far from found the balance of giving to and caring for others while allowing myself the luxury of self indulgent time to reflect. Yes, it is necessary. You are very right. How does one not feel so guilty about taking the time then?

    Here is a gift in return to any and all who have shared in kind. This morning while walking the dog on frosty pasture, we stirred up one of the two children, a young coyote, no more than fifty feet away. I saw him before Gunnar did, and, grateful for a piece of baling twine found bunched up in my down jacket, was able to slip on a leash to contain my own wild beast of german shepherd. The little coyote stood there frozen when he realized he was too close. I imagine there is something natural for the true wild beast knowing you let down your guard and this could be it. He stood there with his tail between his legs, hunched up and howling. Yes, he cried; wailed for his mother, brother, another of his kind. (Oh, the photos I could have taken had it not been for the struggle to contain the pup beside me). And then the mountain replied to the distress call with the song of the coyote coming from the four directions, a cacophony reverberating on the hard wall of the frozen cliff above the Rio Grande, deep and shrill and feral, sending the sounds back two fold and three until we’re surrounded in the swirl of madcap howls, dancing about us like leaves from the aspen in an tempestuous wind.

    We backed off (ok, so I admit I dragged Gunnar off) and allowed the little fellow his space to regain his composure, realizing he had been spared this time, and watched him turn to trot away. I can imagine the flutter of his heart and twist in his gut, and only hope he learned, for not every encounter with man and dog prove as positive for the coyote.

  5. The coyote “moment’ is a magical story: “surrounded in the swirl of madcap howls, dancing about us like leaves from the aspen in an tempestuous wind.” WOW great writing Gin

  6. A post with such full of emotions I would say. I also prefer to keep busy, have things that have to be done, deadlines, a little bit of pressure. You also got nice pics here.

    • Essential, and dangerous. Learning to use our time well, to accept and even allow time “lost in thought.” It is the nature and wilds around me that somehow bring it all in balance, even overriding the “thought” which can be the most damaging of all.

  7. I have no words to express the feeling of elation i felt when i read your post – that another person could capture so beautifully what my heart feels and give it a form so exquisite and elegant. You have amazing talent. Have you written a novel or something? I am so sure i would love to read it. All the way from India.. :)

  8. Lovely post. There is a haunting quality to autumn that I adore and sometimes want to escape. Your words summed up much that which was previously was left unspoken. Thank-you.

  9. Your writing is so poetic and beautiful. My favourite line begins “The scratch and clang…..” I love the splashes of colour in your pictures and I feel from your profile pic that you are a wise old soul.

  10. Foolish words, indeed. Those who love you most will understand you least. We are many on this same path; grounded, and grounded.

  11. I clicked on this post from Freshly Pressed last night because I love fall and miss it every year that I live where I do (Southern California, grew up in the Northwest). The beautiful leaves to start your post sucked me in, I could smell the wet fall scent and those rain droplets are beautiful. And then your words…I actually had to stop reading because I wasn’t in the proper mindset to take in each word like I wanted to.
    I wasn’t expecting to read such a thick, rich, expressive post. It was like a great dessert that you have to savor each bite, rest, feel it ooze into your belly and then take another bite. It is rare for me to read a blog post that makes me slow down and savor it. I really appreciate your work and your photographs are stunning.
    I have been thinking about this post most of today so I wanted to comment. I am living in a sunny all the time place longing for seasons, chilly days and isolation. Your words made me really think about my “grass is greener” ideas. Thank you.

  12. Beautiful post…. just beautiful. Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love everything about it, but I too feel a certain sadness when it approaches and have never been able to put my finger on exactly what causes this melancholy. You described it so well! Thank you for your beautiful words.

  13. Beautiful, reflective writing^.^ Indeed, I think it is of human nature to be forever searching and longing, perhaps it is possible to still be grounded simply with understanding our nature. Peace~

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