the slow unfurling towards beginnings

Today the birds in my neighbourhood seem to be singing even more beautifully than usual. I don't think their voices have changed though, only the quality of the air. It's that cool, thin, Autumn air which makes you feel like not only are leaves shedding from trees but all kinds of preoccupations and unnecessary things from the atmosphere. People call Autumn the dying time, but it feels like beginnings to me. Like the making of space and silence for something new (or old and unburied) to start unfurling in the dark, beneath the debris of summer.

I must confess to you, I am enjoying writing my email letter more than blogging. Something about the quietness and intimacy of the writing space encourages me. But I like keeping your company here too. As time goes on, I suspect I shall look at how I can weave the two together more. I beg your patience as I try to figure it out.

In the meanwhile - I have recently begun reading a book I've longed for these past few years, A Branch from the Lightning Tree by Martin Shaw. When I first opened it, I was so enchanted by the table of contents that I simply remained there for a day, allowing the chapter headings to seep into my imagination, allowing my hope for the book to grow and take beautiful shape. I used to be a speed reader, getting through books easily in a day. But as I get older I have slowed my reading, and am appreciating so much the benefits of that. With phrases like Deer Woman and the Velvet Antleered Moon and The Red King and the Witch, Shaw's content page is a dream-book all of its own, a door opening to stories I can tell myself a dozen times over, differently every time, before I even get into Shaw's versions.

Here is an excerpt from chapter one.

Wildness ... doesn't exclude civilisation but prowls through it, knowing when to attend to the needs of the committee and when to drink from a moonlit lake. It will wear a suit when it has to, but refuses to trim its talons or whiskers. Its sensing-nature is not afraid of emotion : the old stories are full of grief forests and triumphant returns, banquets and bridges of thorns. Myth tells us that the full gamut of feeling is to be experienced. Wildness is the capacity to go into joy, sorrow, and anger fully and stay there for as long as needed, regardless of what anyone else thinks. (p8)

Have a beautiful day.


  1. I love Autumn. It still remains my favorite season. I heard a crow yesterday, and it made me think of Autumn, though it's very much spring here, the world full of life.

    I also love your newsletter. It inspires me :)

  2. Indeed, autumn has a special essence about it and you've captured it so beautifully. This was lovely to read. That book sounds so interesting too. I've just signed up and am looking forward to seeing your bag of seeds and stars in my inbox.

  3. i've always felt that autumn is a beginning time just as much as spring, where all life perks up again after summer's heat and's the time of year when i am most likely to clear out the closet and house generally (not spring, despite the phrase "spring cleaning") and i always feel i am coming alive again.

    i see what you mean about the shaw book; "deer woman and the antlered moon" is such a poem-title for a a doorway into a dream.

  4. Oh, I'm so looking forward to receiving my copy of A Branch from the Lightening Tree which should arrive tomorrow. I love autumn as well, but here I am in spring, a different kind of beginning.

  5. when autumn fills the air here
    it is refined and i am enlivened..... that is autumn to me

    i did not realize that you have begun sharing through email... so glad you mentioned it here.

  6. I loved the passage from that book - now you have convinced me to read it too. It sounds like you are going through a transitional stage in your life which I am sure will all turn out the way it should, one way or the other.

  7. Yes to Autumn, and its manifold pleasures!

    I've always been a slow reader. I adore the sensuality of words.

    And I have to tell you how much I adore your beautiful, beautiful email letter. I have saved it up to read properly, and then re-read. I'm actually quite overcome by the exquisite writing there, Sarah. Sorry, but it deserves the hyperbole! xx

  8. Thank you everyone. Antoinette, your hyperbole is too kind, thank you :-)