Wednesday, September 14, 2005

September song

Summer's end! Stickball in the seedy meadows. Messing about in drainage ditches. Long warm twilights on green lawns, catching up fireflies in our cupped hands, carefully transferring them to clear glass jars in the hope that if only we catch enough we'll have a useful lantern. The brilliant summer stars -- Arcturus, Vega, Deneb, Altair -- coming on like street lamps, guiding us into sleep made fitful by the day's unfinished projects, tomorrow's beginnings.

Most of my life, I think, has been spent trying to remember what it was I experienced then, those late summer days and nights a half-century ago, to become like a child again in the presence of nature, to perceive nature's wholeness and my place in it with a child's purity of sight. Mostly, we forget. So we turn to artificial rites and rituals, to the purveyors of the supernatural, to guru's who promise out-of-body experiences, mind over matter, the seven secrets of transcendence. I remember a cover of Time magazine some years ago, for story on spiritualism and healing. It promised an "alternative universe."

All the while, the real universe is at our doorstep, twinkling, shining, chattering, rustling, scenting the late summer air with healing perfume. Remember. Remember. Remember.