Autumn’s Holding On

There is no birth, there is no death; there is no coming, there is no going;
there is no same, there is no different;  there is no permanent self, there is no annihilation.
We only think there is. ~THICH NHAT HANH, No Death, No Fear

Red Oak & Green Pine dance with clouded blue sky
Red Oak & Green Pine dance with clouded blue sky

Now we’re in autumn’s time
of maturity & fragility.

Trunks strong, well-rooted
while leaves vibrantly transform
from energy & oxygen production,
returning their essence
to the soil
as they have done
countless times.

Losing my mother
losing our mother
recognizing her gift
in greens, reds and golds
a bell of mindfulness
ringing gratitude and sadness
as she returns her form
to the earth.

Knowing that my time
to be vibrant
in this human form
to dance in the wind
one last time
is not too far in the future.
Less than one hundred years from now,
I’m almost sure.

Until then,
with mindful awareness
I will breathe in happiness
and smile calmly
the best I can
for the gift of this moment
and impending winter.

56 Replies to “Autumn’s Holding On”

  1. David, beautiful words, beautiful heart. Seeing autumn beauty through tears can be amazing, but I am so sorry for your loss. Hugging you and honoring your insights into no birth no death. May you be at ease, even at this time of suffering.

      1. I’m so glad it helps. Actually, I spent the day in New York with Jack Kornfield and about 800 others at a training on Buddhist Psychology. It was a beautiful autumn day and Central Park was amazing. You were in my thoughts.

  2. Your post comes for me at, what I can only have faith in, a crucial time for me. It seems even in a time of sorrow it can be a gift for someone else. Thank you for your gifts.

  3. You would know the secret of death.
    But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
    The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
    If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
    For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

    In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
    And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
    Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
    Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honour.
    Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
    Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

    For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
    And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

    Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
    And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
    And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

    Extract from ‘The Prophet’ by Kahlil Gibran – 1926

  4. Absolutely stunning photos, and I love the gentle reminder of the poem…we’re all part of a cycle, and nothing is permanent. Autumn is one of the times of year I can really celebrate that as the ‘end’ can be just as beautiful as the ‘beginning’, perhaps because they’re really just one particular view of exactly the same thing…Hugs, H xxx

    1. i’m happy that you like the images i took
      walking around town the other day, harula!
      it’s wonderful to be floating along
      on this river
      at the same time 🙂

  5. …within each and every heart, a new spring awaits

    wake me in springtime
    when the last frost has left the earth
    and temperate rain dances across my skin,
    for i must sleep through this winter without you

    like the silent space between heartbeats,
    and the pause between breaths
    you are a part of me
    the end of my first thought
    and the beginning of my last

    so let me slumber love
    beneath this blanket of snow
    and wake me in springtime
    when the flowers push upwards to the sky
    and the fragrance of life
    wafts on the morning breeze

    with love & light ❤


  6. Sublime words…gentle and true. Stunning photography…equally so. May I ask what camera you use? Blessings, jules

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