The dragonflies of Lughnasadh have passed again into the fading pages of the summer’s Book of Guests. The door to the invisible temple of the summer sun is drawing closed, as the red-robed monks usher us lay visitors outward onto the sandy path that runs along the ever-flowing river of the seasons. Here we take up our way again, walking towards the sometimes glimmering, sometimes water-colored misty fields of autumn. While still en route we share tales of summer’s promises realized, and summer’s treasures which remained uncovered and yet unwon.
Tasting of the ripened apples of the orchard, watching the plums grow juicier and of deepening color, much remains incomplete or still unseen. Spirits whisper in the grass, their knowledge glimmering in the red fox’s eye. The leaves that have browned and lay in the yellow grasses seem etched with mysterious hieroglyphs, perhaps hints and clues. If one were to invest some time delving their meaning , what harvest might be secured? What intimacy might one establish with these invincible and irresistible forces that turn the whole earth, the mighty incomprehensibly gigantic sea of time and space with an ease that matches that of a windmill turning grain into flour?
Messages of pith and moment drop continually from the trees and shrubs of the wood and are swept away in the winds or upon the stream — like Tibetan prayer wheels, their words are read and spoken by the flowing currents of these motive forces of earth and time, and the power they evoke enkindles one season in the midst of another. The orb of earth is turned and its prayers are spun out by the glimmering lights of the scattered stars.
Words seem to falter here, for the scents and sounds, the colors, the songs of the crickets changing all through the night, these things are their own voice and one must simply listen. Water moving in a small wood that the world has never acknowledged resounds deeply, subtly, and so familiarly that the self built from the scraps of an incomplete or bewildering past may be cast upon it as the chaff from amongst the roots of shading trees. A deep sigh, a welcome release, a coming Home.
Powerful music, but so comfortably recognizable, resounds in the space between the still leaves, the silent, standing fences, or in the pause of speech. Trading some tomatoes for a basket of beans is now a profound act of faith, transcending hopes and wishes with its immanent reality and its promise of Life’s eternal current. Yet, simple joy is enough and no grandiosity intrudes. The plain grandeur of common acts which perpetuate the pulsing flow of life is utterly satisfying while so completely common. Common to all.
Turning from the false hope of the uncommon to receive and embrace the common, one discovers infinity is natural and easy. Now becomes greater than all of time. The sprouting grains of wheat that will become living beer for winter evenings at the hearth-fire can bring tears of wonder and heart-melting gratitude. A warm inner smile to the Power that makes it so satisfies the need for humble thanks, utterly.
So, we move on in this flow, weathering the tides, sharing stories, listening to the poetry that renders all poetry. Rolling like stones on the beach of this unfathomable sea, each one is gradually polished to glimmering perfection. How marvelous that each finds his or her own perfection to be both unique and yet perfectly common. You see, again words cannot embrace the simple reality in which we all partake wholly and in a holy blessedness which no temple or sanctum sanctorum could ever touch. Each of us is the true temple wherein the mystery of the true eucharist occurs, where the bread of life and its ineffable wine are transformed into a sweet elixir of soul and being which imbues each moment and all things with a love that truly exceeds all expectation.