Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Autumn Is Here

Today is the first day of a new autumn. This is my favorite season and I always look forward to its arrival. Even if I didn't have a calendar I would know that autumn is here. The days are darker and shorter. There is a yellowish tint to the leaves. In a few weeks these same leaves will transform themselves into a kaleidoscope of colors. Mornings are cool in the predawn hours. This morning as I walked to the end of my driveway for my morning newspaper I was awed by the beauty of the still dark sky and the myriad of stars twinkling beyond the clouds. I love the dawn. It is my favorite time of the day. It is so full of peace and promise. In the early morning the coming day is like an unopened gift.

Tomorrow's daily reading from the Tao is especially appropriate for the beginning of autumn.

The sun rose and set today in twelve hours.
We plucked golden pears from arching branches.
Climbing a thousand steps to a rustic temple,
we made our offering to the gods.
At nightfall, we sat in warm companionship.
A crescent moon joined our circle.
Dipping water from the silver braided stream,
We set it bubbling in an earthenware pot.
It's not easy to brew good tea,
Bit this teapot has a venerable history.
A scholar once pawned all his books for it.
Now it imparts the flavor of antiquity.

Autumn is a time to be appreciative for the bounty of life. Regardless of the year we've had so far, it is a time of beauty and gratitude. It doesn't matter if we are rich or poor. The gift of beauty that autumn brings is available to all. It may not be easy to brew good tea but it is easy to savor and enjoy the tea of life that it poured into our cups during this special time of year. So dust off your cups and rinse them clean. Hold them out, let them be filled, and enjoy the tea of a thousand autumns that have gone before us and that we continue after us. Enjoy the flavor of the eternal now.

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