autumn, a new beginning
Autumn has long been a favorite time of year. As a child, I loved going back to school and the sense of staring a new year, even though we were in nearly three-quarters of the way through the calendar year.
I think that cultural quirk, two “new years” in one calendar year, has given me a sense of an abundance of second chances and to always keep trying. But more about that another day.
back to nature connection
With “back to school” in the air, one thing I’ve recently returned to with energy and intention is daily nature connection activities and growing my knowledge base of the natural world. Simple things like just noticing the quality of the air, what direction is the wind blowing? Taking the time to listen to the other than human world of trees and plants. It’s as easy as looking up into the sky and in my experience can do a world of good in maintaining our well-being.
Try it and see, or tell me what you already know. How does getting outside make you feel?
learning about trees
For a while I have been working on my self-knowledge about trees. Learning to identify them, know their medicinal properties and legends. It’s the sort of wisdom our ancestors took for granted and that many of us have lost.
I started easy, with the trees that I already recognized, but still knew little about. My first tree was the willow, and did you know the medicinal properties of the willow tree is what gave us aspirin?
the autumn leaf and cycle of life
Reading about trees the other day I came across a beautiful piece by Thich Nhat Hanh. I’d like this use it in a class I’ll teach soon and since I couldn’t find the text in Spanish on the internet, I decided to translate it. Readers might recall that I am a bit of a nut about language. It’s sort of a hobby, but also helps me enormously in daily life.
I hope you enjoy the story of the leaf. If anyone has improvements or corrections to the translation, please say and I’ll see you around here another day soon.
I asked the leaf whether it was frightened because it was autumn and the other leaves were falling.
The leaf told me, “No. During the whole spring and summer I was completely alive. I worked hard to help nourish the tree, and now much of me is in the tree. I am not limited by this form. I am also the whole tree, and when I go back to the soil, I will continue nourish the tree. So I don’t worry at all. As I leave this branch and float to the ground, I will wave to the tree and tell her, ‘I will see you again very soon.”
That day there was a wind blowing and, after a while, I saw the leaf leave the branch and float down to the soil, dancing joyfully, because as it floated it saw itself already there in the tree. It was so happy. I bowed my head, knowing that I have a lot to learn from the leaf.”
Thich Nhat Hanh: Ser como una hoja
Le pregunté a una hoja si estaba asustada porque era otoño y las otras hojas se estaban cayendo.
La hoja me dijo: No. Durante toda la primavera y el verano estuve completamente viva. Trabajé mucho para nutrir al árbol y ahora no me preocupo por esa parte. Formo parte del árbol completo y cuando caiga a tierra seguiré nutriendo al árbol. Cuando caiga de la rama y llegue volando al suelo saludaré al árbol y le diré: ‘Te veré de nuevo muy pronto’.
Y ese día llegó. El viento soplaba y soplaba, al rato vi la hoja caer bailando alegremente. Y Mientras bailaba feliz se imaginó así misma en el lugar que ocupaba en el árbol. Incliné la cabeza y reconocí que tenía mucho que aprender. La hoja no tenía miedo, porque entiende que todo lo que nace, renace, nadie ni nada muere para siempre.
I know I signed off and said good bye, but I like surprises, don’t you?
Anyhow, I leave the link to Autumn Leaves by Miles Davis. And now for real see you later.
Autumn Leaves by Miles Davis, music video with pretty leaves.