Sunday, November 29, 2009

Song for Autumn

We have passed the halfway mark ― it is now late autumn. In less than a month winter will be upon us. Let us celebrate the season and savor what poet Mary Oliver calls "deep fall."

Song for Autumn

In the deep fall
don't you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
freshets of wind? And don't you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
warm caves, begin to think

of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
inside their bodies? And don't you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.

~Mary Oliver (1935 —)
New and Selected Poems: Volume Two

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Enjoying Turkey

Wild turkeys hang out in my gardens and woods

and were always comfortable around Rachmaninoff

On Thanksgiving I enjoy turkey alive, well and wild. I don't eat turkey at Thanksgiving or any other time and I don't miss it. These wild birds are incredibly social, intelligent and, to me, very beautiful, though getting good photographs of them can be challenging.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for having had the pleasure of giving them sanctuary and seeing their young thrive. Sadly, their domesticated brethren suffer greatly from birth to maturity. Their lives, if they can be called that, are brutal, unnatural and very brief.

There is no need for them to be farmed in this manner. The poultry industry, in their quest for bigger and better profits, has come to regard these sentient beings as "products." The number of turkeys "produced" and "consumed" each year is staggering. Reducing demand is one way to re-introduce humane farming methods, but there are many other ways to initiate much needed change in how turkeys and other farm animals are raised.

All animals, especially those raised for food, deserve to be treated with kindness, care and respect. To help spread the word about creating a more compassionate Thanksgiving, visit Farm Sanctuary. And while you're there, consider adopting a rescued turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Family Photo

Rachmaninoff watching over wild turkeys.

The woods are carpeted in leaves, the weather has been delightfully mild and goldfinches are enjoying the thistle feeders. But the nights have been getting much colder, and soon it will be time to bring in the birdbaths, except for the one with a water heater, which I keep filled all winter long.

With Thanksgiving just days away I am missing a very important family member. This will be the first Thanksgiving in 18 years that I have spent without him. Today, I heard Diana Ross singing a song that totally captures how my heart feels. Her beautiful voice, clearer than the most exquisite crystal, is so plaintive and true. Yes, my Rachmaninoff, I am missing you.

Missing You
Click Here to Listen

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Brewster, Cape Cod by Jim Scabereti

"Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
Who told me time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him at the shrinking of the tide."

~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Flowers at our feet

In the hopes of reaching the moon
men fail to see the flowers
that blossom at their feet.
~Albert Schweitzer

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Trembling of a leaf

Never say there is nothing beautiful
in the world anymore.
There is always something
to make you wonder
in the shape of a tree,
the trembling of a leaf.

~ Albert Schweitzer

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Golden Leaves

For some reason, whenever I look at these golden leaves with bits of blue sky showing through, I find myself thinking of this song:

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Know Where You Are

“No matter where I am, and no matter how much trouble I may be in, I can achieve a blank and shining serenity if only I can reach the very edge of a natural body of water. The very edge of anything from a rivulet to an ocean says to me: ‘Now you know where you are. Now you know which way to go. You will soon be home now.’ ”

~Kurt Vonnegut

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Some Things Subside

"So long ago it seems
I read your letter
in the evening light.
Now the light fades early.
Some things subside
and so must we."
~P.G. Wilde