Time of Gold

Out, into the limpid gold of autumn I walked today, for the first time in several weeks. I looked across at the foothills this morning and saw the first turning of the leaves flickering across their faces like laughter. There won’t be many days with this kind of joy. We had snow this week; three days of fat, complacent white flakes who seemed to have moved in to stay. But then this day came along, chill, but bright as all that is good, and chased them away for awhile. I had to walk- deep into the mountains.

I have been in that haze of a rushed existence that leaves my eyes feeling that they can’t focus on a thing. Too much technology, too many careening forays down the freeway. To little sleep. I hate it when life becomes this jolting chase after something I can never catch. My feet finally slowed a bit in the sunlight. I always marvel at the sense of kindling that comes to me when I walk out in the woods again after deserting them for awhile. An irrepressible freshness tingles in my veins, cools my face. As I walked today, the words of the Irish poet John O’Donohue were with me with his insistence that we humans need nature to keep the core of our souls alive. “How good,” he said in the interview The Inner Landscape of Beauty, “to wake up day after day to a world that is as much alive, if not more, than you.”

And all about me during my ramble, the earth glimmered, sang, ached with a liveness that struck life back in me. Maybe that’s what I feel so keenly is wrong with modernity, that  so many of the substances that surround us are dead. Electronics, manufactured goods, house walls, carpet. We are so insulated from even the slightest touch of the breathing world. But that world is the place our souls come alive. We share the same rhythm of ever-advancing life, even amidst death. Of beauty in the face of decay.

Death is coming to the high fields now, cold is settling into the bones of the trees, but their spirits rise up blazing into their leaves, unvanquished. We are a land of sun and moon in the autumn; the jeweled colors of fall are rare here, our landscape is one of serest gold, and polished silver. The aspens and cottonwoods sing out gold, while the wind runs through them like water, turning over their leaves to where a silvered starlight has gathered. The whole tree ripples like sunlit water, like the rills in a mountain stream. The grass is plaited in wheaten loveliness, the last flowers grow pale in the chill, and I am rich with their beauty. That verse spoken by Peter came to my mind as I walked today, though for me, in a slightly different version. Silver and gold, such as the world count them, have I none. But such as I have, sere fields, light like fresh butter, leaves in silver sheen, give I thee. In the name of the Maker of it all, may your soul rise up. May your spirit walk abroad and be strengthened and may you bear such treasures of light within yourselves.

And that is my wish for you today.

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9 Comments

Filed under Contemplations, Nature

9 responses to “Time of Gold

  1. Living in the vast humid land they call Houston, Texas, I miss the fall colors and cool breezes I grew up with in Tennessee. In reading your words today, though, I felt the fresh breath of the Spirit blow over my soul refreshing me. There is Life in nature that reminds me of Him and grounds me again Truth. I think I need to talk a walk today too.

  2. Sunshine

    What a wonderful and beautiful reminder as I begin my day. May God continue to bless you deeply and richly each moment! You will never know how greatly you bless your readers when you share your heart here and I want to thank you for that! Happy Fall day to you! Sunshine

  3. Patty Yellis

    I’ve had you on my mind a lot in the past weeks. I’m planning on writing you a real letter soon. I have prayed for you every time your name pops into my head. 🙂

    Patty

  4. Charlotte Fyshure

    Your writing is so beautiful and an inspiration to many. God has given you a gift for expression. I feel this way (about our society) often, as well. It seems so easy to be entangled by the decrepit binds of technology and so on… I’ve been reading some of John Muir’s writings and he seems to have understood the same thing back in the 1800’s,

    “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.” -John Muir

  5. Ah Sarah. I read this, and now I can’t wait to talk to you for our phone date. You’re so refreshing.

  6. I love the way you describe things. I enjoy autumn colors too! I can’t believe it is already snowing there. Here, the days are still hot, soon the snow will come 🙂

  7. diana

    first time commenting here, thank you for sharing these beautiful inspired words.

  8. HveHope

    Sarah,

    Charlotte’s comment could fit in beautifully with you ‘quotes’ page, n’est pas?

    warmly, HveHope

  9. Beautiful words. Wish we could have been up there last week as we had planned. We would have enjoyed those colors together! Lord willing, that will occur next year!

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