We have passed the halfway mark ― it is now late autumn. In less than a month winter will be upon us. Let us celebrate the season and savor what poet Mary Oliver calls "deep fall."
Song for Autumn
In the deep fall
don't you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don't you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
inside their bodies? And don't you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.
~Mary Oliver (1935 —)
New and Selected Poems: Volume Two
Thursday, November 26, 2009
On Thanksgiving I enjoy turkey alive, well and wild. I don't eat turkey at Thanksgiving or any other time and I don't miss it. These wild birds are incredibly social, intelligent and, to me, very beautiful, though getting good photographs of them can be challenging.
This Thanksgiving I am thankful for having had the pleasure of giving them sanctuary and seeing their young thrive. Sadly, their domesticated brethren suffer greatly from birth to maturity. Their lives, if they can be called that, are brutal, unnatural and very brief.
There is no need for them to be farmed in this manner. The poultry industry, in their quest for bigger and better profits, has come to regard these sentient beings as "products." The number of turkeys "produced" and "consumed" each year is staggering. Reducing demand is one way to re-introduce humane farming methods, but there are many other ways to initiate much needed change in how turkeys and other farm animals are raised.
All animals, especially those raised for food, deserve to be treated with kindness, care and respect. To help spread the word about creating a more compassionate Thanksgiving, visit Farm Sanctuary. And while you're there, consider adopting a rescued turkey!
Sunday, November 22, 2009
The woods are carpeted in leaves, the weather has been delightfully mild and goldfinches are enjoying the thistle feeders. But the nights have been getting much colder, and soon it will be time to bring in the birdbaths, except for the one with a water heater, which I keep filled all winter long.
With Thanksgiving just days away I am missing a very important family member. This will be the first Thanksgiving in 18 years that I have spent without him. Today, I heard Diana Ross singing a song that totally captures how my heart feels. Her beautiful voice, clearer than the most exquisite crystal, is so plaintive and true. Yes, my Rachmaninoff, I am missing you.
Click Here to Listen
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
“No matter where I am, and no matter how much trouble I may be in, I can achieve a blank and shining serenity if only I can reach the very edge of a natural body of water. The very edge of anything from a rivulet to an ocean says to me: ‘Now you know where you are. Now you know which way to go. You will soon be home now.’ ”