Clouds and Dampness and Loveliness

We took a brief afternoon walk today at the Peace Sanctuary, up and down the damp and leafy trail under clouds that very softly showered every so often, and still, even in the wet grayness, the sanctuary was as stunning as ever. We talked as we walked, shuffling leaves with our boots and seeing old leaves letting go and floating down among the limbs. The esteemed and misty Mystic River looked youthful and beautiful in the grayness.

Friends in Paradise

This morning Delycia and I took a blissful walk through autumn-colored woods at the Oswegatchie Hills Nature Preserve in Niantic, CT. I truly felt like I was in paradise, if paradise is a place where all is beautiful and perfect. I walked like I was on holy ground, and so lucky to be there. Below is a slide show of a few scenes from our morning’s visit to the Kingdom of Oswegatchie.

And here are the happy walkers …

Friendly Fog

Delycia is still resting her bruised foot today, so I walked by myself on the trail in the Peace Sanctuary this morning, and was lucky to find a beautiful fog over the Mystic River. I took this picture of the river from the overlook at the top of the cliff,

and it reminded me of this poem I wrote many years ago, during a walk with Delycia.

FRIENDLY FOG
 
The fog came to be beside them
with something like peace and happiness.
It seemed like a lighthearted fog, a mist
that makes a life look loose and full
of brilliance. They walked through sheets
of fog that flowed because they were flowing.
They followed their thoughts more
than the streets, just strolling in partnership
with the friendly fog 
for their partner.

Humble Autumn

HUMBLE AUTUMN
9/23/19 

In autumn, 
mums and leaves 
wear their special costumes,
and only the final crumbles of summer 
can be found. 
Drummers announcing winter’s storms 
are still far-off and feint, 
but snowstorms have heard their summons
and are making ready.
Pumpkins, too, are preparing themselves,
almost humming in happiness, 
and the trumpets of frost 
are perfecting their melodies.  
It’s no surprise
that worries and fears 
often grow numb and powerless 
during this season of
the dominion 
of humble but buoyant autumn.  
 
 

 

Here are some photos from this autumn season …

Delycia and her artistic – but very scary – jack-o’-lantern …

and some scenes from recent walks …

Masks

We saw many masks on our walk today in the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Preserve, including our own, as we see on smiling Delycia in this photo …

We also saw the varied masks the colorful leaves made – covering the ground with a soft disguise …

and shining on the shining trees …

We also saw the marvelous mask of sunrise, as it slowly covered the hillside with an unused, pristine veil of light …

and we followed the masks of our own shadows as they led us across the fields …

Puzzles

Today, I’m feeling puzzled, as I am on most days in my 78th year – but, luckily, it’s a light-hearted kind of puzzlement, the kind people often feel when pondering hundreds of small pieces in a jigsaw puzzle, like this one …

which I just finished this afternoon. There were times when I felt lost and bewildered among these tiny pieces, but it was a happy lost because I knew that I would be ‘found’ before long – as I finally was this afternoon.

I also felt puzzled this morning, in an easy and marvelous way, as Delycia and I were walking along a trail in the Denison Coogan Nature Preserve in Mystic. Who wouldn’t be happily baffled by these astonishing colors …

and by the stunning pleasures of this kind of walking?

(Oops. A mistake by a very puzzled guy: It was October 17, NOT September 18th!)

A Life Like the Sky

In these elder years, it has slowly become clear to me that my life, which I’ve usually thought of as being separate, isolated, and fragile, and which I’ve been carefully protecting for 7+ decades, is not separate or isolated, and does not need ‘my’ protection. Long ago, as a boy, I somehow became convinced that what I called ‘my’ life was a small, separate, and at-risk entity, but now I see how mistaken I was. I see that ‘my’ life is not mine at all, but is part of, and belongs to, the endless universe, the way a drop of water belongs to the ocean or a wisp of a breeze belongs to the everlasting wind. I now see that I no more need protection than does a drop of ocean water. The drop drifts with its vast ocean, a breeze works within the infinite winds, and I move as the universe moves, swirling along with the currents of life the way a star streams along in the immensity of the sky. I do still sometimes like to pretend that I, by myself, perform and produce, but I know, now, that it’s the endless universe (some people call it ‘God’) that always does the work. I see that I am part of something so large it makes ‘my’ small, artificial, isolated life, the one I invented in boyhood and have been caring for ever since, seem utterly fictitious and silly.  When I look up at the sky, I get a much better sense of the true vastness of life, or Life, of which Hamilton Salsich is one of innumerable freely flowing and inseparable elements.   

Here’s a quick video from my walk this morning …

October 11

Our sunrise walk this morning was another charmer. I think both of us, as we usually do, felt full of gratitude as we easily strode beside the river and up and down some of the mild – but not easy – hills. The morning light softly shined up the old, colorful leaves of the trees along the streets, and every so often we saw sunshine spreading through branches and leaves. Here’s a quick slide show ….

And here are some of the lovely autumn flowers in Delycia’s garden.

And here’s St. Francis, so happy to be among chrysanthemums!

A Ceremony of Walking

I took my morning walk in a lovely nearby cemetery, amid hundreds of solemn gravestones and groups of distinguished trees with sunlight shining among the colorful leaves, and the majestic Mystic River close by. It almost seemed like a ceremonious walk to me, like I was participating in the autumn morning’s grandeur.

A short slide show of scenes from my walk …

And here are some scenes from yesterday’s walk with Delycia along the river …