Down to the Bones

The trail has been the setting for a soul-stilling production created by the Holy Artist this week, fitting for the time when we celebrate the festival of St. Francis, whose spirit came most alive when he was with his family of choice: all of nature and her non-human inhabitants.

We’ve had days when the sun’s brilliance infused the fall colors so vividly that I had to un-saturate photographs to make them look “real.” Everywhere a burning bush demanded attention and invited quiet listening for what it wanted to tell me.

And there were mornings when silvered mists deepened the hues and shadows, making photographs as muted as a Monet painting.

This morning, the fog created dew drops that strung along spider webs like so many prayer beads. A bejeweled world, indeed.

Yesterday, as leaves fell all around me, a song my mother used to sing to us at bath time ran through my head. “’T ain’t no sin/To shake off your skin/And dance around in your bones!” It seems the trees in autumn are shedding their skins and revealing the bones beneath, a reminder, perhaps, that we need to keep working at dropping our own masks, the false selves and ways of being that keep us from our center and from creating our lives authentically, with the sweet, genuine essence of our uniqueness.

The other revelation has been discovering seed heads forming everywhere, all at once. The wildflowers along the trail and those designated as weeds have enchanted me with the exquisite architecture and distinctness of their seeds and ways of dispersing them, readying for spring’s renewal even as the mother plants die back into autumn frost.

It made me reflect on becoming an elder in the autumn of my own life, and whether I’m planting or failing to sow the seeds of creativity, peace, and joy I intend…

Tomorrow, the weather will turn. The temperature will shift from 73◦ to the mid-50’s and as low as 26◦ within a few nights. The change will bring welcome rain, along with high winds that will likely bring down the rest of our glorious leaves.

Time to shake off the skin and dance around in our bones!

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10 thoughts on “Down to the Bones

  1. My dear Catherine, when I come here I almost feel a hush descend upon me. There is poetry in your words. A rich beauty in your pictures. And that is why I make time to visit you because I somehow feel the essence of your soul here within each line, each captured image. A gentle, meditative post. Sharon

    • Well, goodness, my dear Sharon; you made me cry. If you can glimpse my soul, that means I’m doing something close to my desire: to share photographs of the Holy Energy I see everywhere around me…your words brought tears to my eyes this morning. Thank you, and great peace and all good (pax et bonum) to your St. Francis’ Day!

  2. Catherine, each photo was more exquisite than the previous one – you captured not only nature’s skin but it’s essence as well. The misty tree lined path captured my heart – it is the archetypal image for me of the path in life, beautiful and often mysterious. You surely have a gift for going to the heart of the matter and planting seeds in one’s consciousness – thank you for a lovely way to start my day.

  3. Wonderful K….Just loved the pictures and fall’s beauty. You capture it so well my friend…Always a pleasure to stop in and read your thoughts! Thanks for sharing.them all. Enjoy what is left of fall. Be well and stay in the light….VK

  4. What a rare pleasure I had, reading this post after the long holidays… and learning about a holiday of St. Francis… and best of all the dance your mother sang of… that dance of the bones, that appealed to me immediately as if I’d known it for years… Your pictures resounded as prayers, filling the world with love and appreciation. I always have trouble understanding the numbers your countrymen use for temperature, but I could easily understand the message… it’s getting colder, and the ground, the plants, and the heavens above all come together in expression of the season. Thank you so much, Catherine, for being part of my return to home.

    • I’m honored; it is good we bloggers, writers and readers have one another to help with our various “re-entries,” that’s for sure. It makes me very happy, Shimon, that you would perceive my pictures as prayers; that’s exactly what they are for me. Thank you.
      Peace to you.

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