Sunday, November 2, 2008

Brian’s Reflection: Monday, Nov 3, 2008

Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun!
ne mellow smile through the soft vapoury air,
Ere, o'er the frozen earth, the loud winds ran,
Or snows are sifted o'er the meadows bare.
One smile on the brown hills and naked trees,
And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are cast,
And the blue Gentian flower, that, in the breeze,
Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the last.
Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee
Shall murmur by the hedge that skim the way,
The cricket chirp upon the russet lea,
And man delight to linger in thy ray.
Yet one rich smile, and we will try to bear
The piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air.

- William Cullen Bryant, poet, born on thus day, 1794, in MA

Well, you can tell that William Cullen Bryant did not, as we do, live on the CA Central Coast!! Piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air are definitely not a part of the Pacific coast, thank God! (Though, to be fair, it can be a teense frosty here in February, though not piercing by any means! And by noon it will probably be sunny and 60F.)

Yesterday it was All Souls Day. The bright red geraniums, the pink and red Old Roses were blooming in the front yard, the new hibiscus we planted are daily putting forth lovely red blooms, the lantana is hardy and bushing out, and even a few defiant California poppies are waving their jaunty heads. Lots of flowers. And the juniper bushes are seeding, bringing two lovely Townsend Warblers, in bright yellow and black array, to feed right outside the window. Ah, the California winter!

I understand the Eastern November as a metaphor. A somewhat “gentle” warning of the dark night of the soul, of which we all go through many on Life’s Journey. The Left Coast of CA is a softened version, and a metaphor of Hope. There will be dark and snows and bare meadows regularly in a human Life. But soft vapoury air and the blue Gentian flower remind us that this too shall pass. God has given us California (and maybe Key West and Tucson) just further to encourage us that we shall make it through those dark nights.

Oh you out there on the Right Coast, remember the Gentian flower. But if it gets too bad, hop a plane to sunny California for a little Heart’s Ease. But remember: California too is a metaphor - for Surrender to Grace and to the Healing Love at the heart of all Existence.


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