Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Tao of Autumn

He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.
                                                                        --Lao Tzu

I noticed yesterday that fallen leaves are scattered along city streets.
And when I got home, I realized that our river birch 
had already lost nearly half of its leaves.
There's nothing that says approaching autumn more than falling leaves.
And seeing so many thousands of leaves drifting from the trees
always makes me marvel at the abundance nature brings.

I've mentioned before my dad's reminiscences, 
and one thing he often remarked upon was 
how much he enjoyed his extended family's working together 
to harvest the remaining fruits of summer and early autumn.
He would talk about the orchard "at home," saying:

There's nothing better than coming home from school in the afternoon
in the fall of the year and going out to the orchard,
and climb up clear to the top and get a nice big, juicy peach and eat it.

That remark has always stuck with me. 
Not just because of the image of my father as a happy young boy,
but because something whispers to me 
that his appreciation of the harvest and the season 
offers a simple yet profound wisdom 
about the good things that life gives us 
without our first seeking after them.

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