- Hello everyone
It's 30th of October. The past few days have been absolutely magical here in London. It is the quintessence of Autumn. Misty sunshine and trees like great flowers with petals of yellow, orange, pink, red and gold, filling the air with swirling leaves every time the wind gusts through the trees. In my garden the pears are hanging heavy on my four pear trees - I have picked all the ones I can reach. There is a famous poem about Autumn which we had to learn by heart at primary school, 'Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness... and it is just like that.
It's half-term which means the children have a week's holiday. I love to see them skipping in the fallen leaves, kicking them into piles and rolling in them - or jumping and dancing as leaves spiral down, trying to catch them. If you can catch a falling leaf - they say - you get good luck for the whole year to come. It's great to sing the Seven-Year-Old song and remember that identifying with child-like consciousness and playing like a seven year old is actually an important aspect of our spiritual lives.
I am lucky to live near the river Thames in a district which has a lot of wild wooded common land and a wide sweep of wooded 'tow path' by the river. I go cycling in a circuit which takes in a lot of this beauty. Today I spent all morning on my ride, stopping often to take photographs. The air was scented with that intoxicating yet subtle leaf-falling, damp-earth, misty-air autumn fragrance.
I photographed the leaves on the trees, leaves flying through the sky, leaves on the roofs of cars and leaves carpeting the pavements. I photographed the river framed by delicate autumn 'blossoms'. The tide was high and there were many rowing teams out practicing. I took photos of the tow-path twisting out of sight into a haze of soft autumn colours. I kept adding extra 'loops' to my route because it was such a beautiful morning. I wanted Cot Dorris to come and write it all into a poem.
I went round the old reservoir which is a nature reserve now. I climbed down the bank, near to the water, to try to photograph some swans which were on the far side of the lake and half-hidden by the riotous leaves - and on seeing me, they glided sedately over to where I was crouching under the branches, hoping I had food for them. One swan came up out of the water, up the bank and right up to me. It was so close I could have stroked it. I took so many photos. I wish I had a way of posting the photos for you all to see. It was pure magic.
Later, in the afternoon, I was inspired to go out again - to catch the last of the autumn sunshine. By then it was very hazy and the sun just dissolved into the grey sky rather than setting in a splended sunset. But that was special in its own way.
As I returned along the towpath from Putney side the tide had gone right out. I watched a heron wading in the muddy shallows. I put the bike down and kept watching it and taking photographs until it was dark, the lights from across the river reflected in golden ribbons, the moon fading in and out of passing misty clouds.
At the Centre on Wednesday, Manatita often reads poems while we go for Prasad. I meant to ask him which volume of Service-Trees he was reading from this week because many of them were about nature's beauty. Todays Autumn symphony was completely in tune with those inspiring poems. I wonder what the autumn is like where you all are - and for those in Australia and New Zealand - how the spring is unfolding.
All love to all