Dragons and Holy Golden Things
go stepping into autumn
Light and dark came into balance once again yesterday as we marked the autumal equinox here in the northern hemisphere. Earth offered us a ‘celestial reminder’ to pay attention and honor what’s coming, to make ready for the march toward the gathering dark.
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We had a campfire out back earlier this week, a few days before the equinox, and as I sat staring into the dancing flames, I could feel the transition waiting for its turn.
Winds from the north have increased and newly yellowed leaves are swirling to the ground in surrender to the seasonal shift. I always appreciate this time of cooling, even while darkness falls earlier and earlier each day. The land seems to sigh with relief at the chance to shift into a slower pace, inviting me to do the same. Of course, there’s a lot for us humans to do still as we prepare for the next season. (We haven’t yet figured out how to get the downed trees to sort themselves into tidy piles of nicely split firewood, for example.) The garden is still in since there hasn’t yet been a hard freeze. There’s garlic yet to plant. All of my potted plants are outside, where they’ll stay until I really can’t leave them out there anymore, lest they perish in too-cold temperatures. Motors need to be winterized, the woodstove cleaned. There are many things left on the ‘make ready for winter’ list.
But there’s also time to meander paths through the woods, noticing the way the world becomes a holy and golden thing—at least some parts, just for a little while—in autumn. It’s a time to embrace the fire that always burns deep within as the great wheel turns toward shadow. It’s an opportunity to look for beauty in the turning, in how this time of surrendering to the season invites us to look for the holy golden things right alongside the fearsome beasts.
Thomas Lloyd Qualls writes, "The ultimate act of courage is standing still in the face of a monster. Courage is looking closely enough into its jaws to see it for what it is - an illusion. It’s your fear of the monster that is real. And just about anything in life can look like a monster if the light is just right."
And if anything can look like a monster, well….perhaps even some dragons can become holy golden things. If the light is just right.
HOLY GOLDEN THINGS
Go the where the trees
reach high in witness
where big bluestem
bows down in prayer
where wild aster
looks you in the eye
and fallen leaves crunch a welcome underfoot.
See how goldenrod
readies itself for the turn
when the world becomes
a holy golden thing.
Let go and drop
into the sweet darkness
of a new season.
The St. Croix Valley Author’s Fair is on September 24th from 11-4. Join East Central Regional Library at Pleasant Valley Orchard (17325 Pleasant Valley Road, Shafer, MN 55074) for book readings and Q&A sessions with 8 local authors from the St. Croix Valley area. If you’re in the area, I’d love to see you there! They have great apples, & baked goods, farm animals to visit, and a lovely walking trail to enjoy.
Clearly not all ‘dragons’ or ‘monsters’ can become holy golden things in the ‘right light’— there is also ample room for continuing to take action to work toward needed systemtic change.