Urge for Going

Well, autumn is slowly succumbing to the chill of winter.

As I write this, I can see a light covering of frost dusting my deck and barbecue grill in the early morning haze, where not long ago, we enjoyed the flavors of summer.

The emotion of autumn is grief... or melancholy... which more accurately captures the mood, I think, for most people. The sound of geese overhead; the rustle and swirl of crispy leaves across a street; the smell of distant home fires burning. All the sensations and feelings of gathering back into home, but 'home' feeling just slightly elusive, like some distant place other than where I am. Maybe more like homesickness... something about this time conjures up more memories for me than any other.

Autumn is about letting go and trusting that what you sowed and reaped in the previous months is enough to sustain you through the darkness ... to goodbye to the joys of summer, trusting that life will again return to the face of the earth in her own time.

But there is beauty even here. The autumn trees on fire, the deep shift of light slanting through the windows, the clarity of the stars and moon. The call of simplicity urging us to let go, just let go... all will be well.

Our very breath is immediate and precious, and yet to grasp the air - to never let it go for fear of loss - would end us. To hang on to what we no longer need chokes our ability to make room for emptiness, and clarity, and then to be filled again when the time comes.

What do you feel at this time of year? What do the sight and sounds of autumn stir up for you?

I awoke today and found the frost perched on the town

It hovered in a frozen sky, then it gobbled summer down

When the sun turns traitor cold

And shivering trees are standing in a naked row

I get the urge for going but I never seem to go

I get the urge for going

When the meadow grass is turning brown

Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in

I had me a man in summertime

He had summer-colored skin

And not another girl in town

My darling's heart could win

But when the leaves fell trembling down

Bully winds did rub their faces in the snow

He got the urge for going, and I had to let him go

He got the urge for going

When the meadow grass was turning brown

Summertime was falling down and winter was closing in

The warriors of winter they gave a cold triumphant shout

And all that stays is dying and all that lives is getting out

See the geese in chevron flight flapping and racing on before the snow

They've got the urge for going, they've got the wings to go

They get the urge for going

When the meadow grass is turning brown

Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in

I'll ply the fire with kindling and pull the blankets to my chin

And I'll lock the vagrant winter out and bolt my wandering in

I'd like to call back summertime and have her stay just another month or so

She's got the urge for going and I guess she'll have to go

And she get the urge for going when meadow grass is turning brown

All her empires are falling down

Winter's closing in

~ Joni Mitchell