It's a gray November day. Finally I have time off from the madness of work. At home there's a welcomed silence. Today I saw the first snowflakes of the season taunting my dislike of what's to come in the months ahead: The cold, the ice, the snow, and winds that suck the breath out of your soul.
Windy autumn days are stripping leaves very quickly. In summer I look out my bedroom window to see green leaves on old shade trees, and squirrels occasionally chasing each other across branches. It occurs to me that I don't take advantage of that scene nearly enough. We're so quick to grab the camera and take hundreds of photos of colorful, dying leaves, snapping up the moment as if color will never behold us again.
Yet, it's the same every year, every season. A couple of years ago I was sitting at this very window in autumn and one squirrel was chasing life; scrambling for food to store before there was none left. Looking out the window we came face to face:
sat a squirrel
on second floor branches
outside my window
sat a squirrel.
the leafless tree
staring at my face
I suppose that's one reason we're compelled every autumn to snap photos of leaves: Disbelief. Disbelief that the rest of the year has been spent chasing life, and with little pause to let the silence nurture our souls year round. Disbelief that the falling of autumn can be so brilliant and yet so swift.
Camera or not: We all need to be snapping up the moments every day. And rather than chasing life, we should let life chase us.
Rick B. Baker
November 6, 2009
one eye opened
to the ages.
Poem © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker
Photo © 2009 by R. Burnett Baker
Poem "sat a squirrel" © 2006 by R. Burnett Baker