There was an entire aspect to my life that I had been blind to
— the small, good things that came in abundance.
Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.
From my front yard looking north~
an epiphany of snowy peaks
revering a Creator
who awes by His every day light
and everlasting love.
Be comforted; the world is very old,
And generations pass, as they have passed,
A troop of shadows moving with the sun;
Thousands of times has the old tale been told;
The world belongs to those who come the last,
They will find hope and strength as we have done.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “A Shadow”
The shadow’s the thing.
If I no longer see shadows as “dark marks,”
as do the newly sighted,
then I see them as making some sort of sense of the light.
They give the light distance;
they put it in its place.
They inform my eyes of my location here, here O Israel
,here in the world’s flawed sculpture,
here in the flickering shade of the nothingness
between me and the light.
~Annie Dillard from Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
A shadow is hard to seize by the throat and dash to the ground.
~Victor Hugo from Les Miserables
Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
But only he who sees, takes off his shoes,
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries,
And daub their natural faces unaware.
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning
I feel I am walking on holy ground — in order to open my eyes, I must remove my shoes.
Only then may I approach. Only then am I aware of what surrounds me.
There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on,
and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.
The sunshine is peculiarly genial;
and in sheltered places, as on the side of a bank, or of a barn or house,
one becomes acquainted and friendly with the sunshine.
It seems to be of a kindly and homely nature.
And the green grass strewn with a few withered leaves looks the more green and beautiful for them.
If I were a month, I would want to be October…
A kindly and homely nature, with comfortable temperatures and a bit foggy,
with flashes of burnt umber, misty gold in the relinquishing light.
…still it’s not death that spends
So tenderly this treasure
To leaf-rich golden winds,
But life in lavish measure.
No, it’s not death this year
Since then and all the pain.
It’s life we harvest here
(Sun on the crimson vine).
The garden speaks your name.
We drink your joys like wine.
~May Sarton, from “The First Autumn”
Is there something finished? And some new beginning on the way?
I cried over beautiful things, knowing no beautiful thing lasts…
~Carl Sandburg, from “Falltime” and “Autumn Movement”
I praise the fall:
It is the human season. On this sterile air
Do words outcarry breath: the sound goes on and on.
I hear a dead man’s cry from autumn long since gone.
I cry to you beyond upon this bitter air.
~Archiblad MacLeish from “Immortal Autumn”