"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Change in the Air



Walt and I were just gathering our lunch things, preparing to return to the canoe and the rest of our journey through the refuge, when we heard voices. A large rowboat beached and we watched a younger man help an older woman step onto shore. Our mutual greetings became a longer conversation in which they revealed they'd been out wocus picking. Members of the Klamath/Modoc tribe, they were gathering the seed heads to make a traditional cereal.

Our conversation turned to the perfect day: sunny, balmy, no wind, no bugs. 

"It feels like the time for hunting and gathering," the man said. "There's change in the air."

And I knew that to be true, even though I'd been trying not to know. I had been sensing the smallest shift in the color of light, feeling the first inner stirrings of restlessness, seeing the first yellowing of big leaf maple. 

Despite the fact that we've hardly had summer, autumn's breath is making itself known. 

This is the flat time, neither fully one season nor the other. Summer not quite over, autumn not quite here. Still more summer than not, but past the time where it feels like summer might last forever. 

I'm finding feathers everywhere these days, in unusual abundance it seems to me. Owl. Eagle. Jay. An egret feather floating next to us toward the end of the canoe trip that felt like an omen and a gift. As though the birds preparing for migration are sending me invitations to join them.

In the hours we spent paddling the flat water of the marshy refuge, we saw hundreds of dragonflies. At least four different varieties. I considered the contrast between that abundance and the huge numbers of turkey vultures we'd seen as we drove south from home the day before. Both are beings that have always touched me at that intersection of spirit and heart. The vultures whose job it is to clean away that which has died. The dragonflies who symbolize change and spiritual renewal.

A lone bald eagle soared overhead, close enough that his white head and tail, deep brown body, and golden beak were sharply defined against the Crater Lake blue of the sky. Just in case, apparently, I needed the reminder that our day on the water was both love letter and extended hand from the Divine.

A love letter that included a pair of otters playing on the bank, two deer swimming not far ahead of us, shy egrets peering at us through the reeds. A gentle hand that held us for miles of perfect stillness in amiable  companionship with each other, ourselves and the world around us. 

Change is in the air. It comes in its own time, at its own pace. But it comes. Full of promise, hope, and songs of waiting adventures. 

Photos by Walt

26 comments:

Wanda said...

Sounds like a beautiful day! And yes...I've been feeling the fall air, too...much to my dismay.

Journaling Woman said...

What a beautiful day you had and your description of it is beautiful as well.

Change is not a word I like. If I smell change in the air I run, rebel and/or throw my tantrums. However, nothing I've ever done stops change when change is due.

T

Journaling Woman said...

What a beautiful day you had and your description of it is beautiful as well.

Change is not a word I like. If I smell change in the air I run, rebel and/or throw my tantrums. However, nothing I've ever done stops change when change is due.

T

Retired English Teacher said...

Yes, I've felt it also. It seems to early. I'm not really even gotten into summer, but I've already said, "I feel fall in the air."

Fall is a favorite season for me. I too look forward with some anticipation to see what the changes and shifts will bring.

kt said...

And, again, you caught my breath up in your elegant way of telling of a simple day on the water. Who, but you, could have made something so every day seem to be a miracle unfolding. kt

Desiree said...

I love the way you look at things, the way you feel things and how beautifully you convey all of these sights and emotions through the medium of writing. Karen has expressed equally beautifully through words my exact feelings. You are a very gifted writer, Deb.

kario said...

Such glorious adventures you have, my friend. It inspires me to continually keep my eyes and ears (and heart) open when I am out in nature.

I don't know if I'm ready to acknowledge the changes in the weather yet, but I love the way you describe it all, so I guess it doesn't matter ;-)

Stacy Crawford said...

Beautiful Day! There is something serene about floating in the water on a canoe. Nature always rejuvenates my soul.

Linda Myers said...

Oh, no! I'm nowhere near ready for the changing of the seasons already.

yaya said...

I feel rested just reading about this beautiful day you had. Thanks for sharing it with me! We have had more dragonflies than I've ever seen here at the Pines this year. I do think it means change and spiritual growth...all of which is happening in our family now. Hopefully to a wonderful conclusion by the end of this summer. I'm ready for change and for fall. Beautiful post!

Lilith said...

I can see it too, the shadows are longer, the light has changed, the trees are already changing color.

Sounds like a lovely lake and a lovely day.

DJan said...

We here in the Pacific Northwest are losing three minutes of daylight every single day right now, heading for the equinox. I love this time, it's my favorite part of the year...

Julia said...

Beautiful ! You paint such a lovely picture of a summer afternoon.

I love this time of year. I've always thought it was because I was born at the end of August.

So sad to see winter come. I wish we could shorten that season. You know ~ just make spring and fall last a little longer.

Sandi said...

It sounds like you had a glorious time at the lake. Your descriptions are so lyrical, Deb, as always, a joy to read.
Oh, that change is coming. I feel it too! Just yesterday I told David I saw leaves turning already, and not only was summer short, but fall is crowding out what little is left!

Dee Ready said...

Your lyrical writing, with cadences that rise and fall like your oars slipping into lake water, leaves me with a great sense of peace, Deb.

You invite your readers to flow with you through that water to the other side of summer and the greeting of fall.

Your vision of nature so reminds me of the poet Mary Oliver. You both see clearly the deep-down beauty within all creation.

Jessica Nelson said...

Wow, you create such a mood with your writing, Deb. I can almost feel the change.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

It is 107 degrees outside. I'm not seeing any sign of fall.

Sounds like a lovely day. I am jealous of your descriptive ability, how you and your feelings come out so vividly.

Change - comes for all of us, doesn't it? In some form or other.

Pam said...

What a wonderful day you had.

Katie Gates said...

So much beautiful imagery in this post, Deb. Wonderful turns of phrases. I envy your environment and the fact that you can feel the approach of autumn. Here in L.A., we're still anticipating the hottest month of the year (alas).

Amber said...

Oh, but I'm not ready for fall yet! Even if you do write about change of seasons in a lovely way...

;) ox

Charlene: the Polarblogger said...

All these things that you have seen around really make for a wonderful day. I also like such changes in the air which promise another set of blessings that we can have.
Again, I salute to your fine way of describing these things.

Barb said...

Lovely photos to remind of a perfect day. We hoped to visit Crater Lake this spring, but turned toward home because of all the rain. I hope to have another chance at it someday. Change is exciting if/when we welcome it. Good Luck, Deb - hope you have a great class.

colbymarshall said...

You always evoke such pretty images in your writing. I love the otters,especially.

Mark Lyons said...

Your words have the capacity each time I read them to paint pictures in my mind. I could see the wildlife, smell the water and feel the warmth of the sun and you and Walt canoed along the bank.

Thank you for your words!!

Love
Mark

Cassy said...

I like your words. "Change is in the air"... Thank you for inspiring me in some ways.

have a great weekend.

Cassy from Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Kathryn Grace said...

So many spirit teachers leaving you gifts of love! Delightful rendering. Thank you.

I am glad to know I am not alone in mourning the passing of summer each year. No joyous odes to Autumn from my pen! Give me lush, verdant trees, bright patches of blooming color, and clear skies overhead. I have to work to enjoy the paler light and forms of fall and winter.