NOTE: To celebrate this day, I have re-published this piece I originally wrote in 2008.
It is entitled “October”.
October is upon us, as we enter our autumn season here in the Pacific Northwest. The cycle of renewal will begin in western Oregon, where I live. The summerâ€™s dry period has ended, and agricultural irrigation has ceased.
Harvesting explodes in October, including the grape harvest in our many vineyards. A period of renewal will follow the gathering of this autumn bounty, as the soil is left to recover.
The fruit and nut trees, the vines in the vineyards, and the crop fields will begin the slow period of winter revitalization, in anticipation of the growing seasons to come in the new year. The Great Mandala of life turns steady.
The rains that begin in late October, increasing into November, will work their magic — plumping Oregonâ€™s world-class Christmas tree and holly crops, renewing the sparkle of these holiday icons, readying them for harvest.
Wild nature will also enter a period of recovery and renewal. The flowering plants that have dropped their petals, and the grasses and brush, gone late-summer golden, seek these nurturing rains.
Mighty evergreens pause, conifers drop their cones, and deciduous trees shed their leaves â€“ all go dormant, and rest. The vast Northwest forests are enriched by this period of rejuvenation.
Streams, whose water levels have dropped considerably, will come to new life when rains begin to replenish their flow. Sockeye salmon start their run to the sea, as Chinook begin their spawn. Rainbow, Brook, German Brown, and Cutthroat Trout, as well as the numerous other species of fish become active as the waters rise and cool.
Bear, deer, cougar, elk, coyote, big horn sheep, pronghorn antelope, hawk, osprey, eagle; the varied and plentiful wildlife of our region begin preparation for their unique winter rituals.
October nudges autumn into winter â€” a peaceful time of restoration here in this breathtakingly beautiful region. A regenerative calm lies upon the lush land, as the season of sky-water arrives to quench natureâ€™s thirst, and revivify her energies.___________________________
as the gardener shades her tend
bending close to nourish and protect
so too nature stoops
to embrace and refresh
her pacific northwest paradise
her autumn shadow upon the land
she leans down
and lets flow life-giving waters
to enrich this lush realm
she covers her beloved eden
in a soft blanket of moist cloud
a shelter from harsh winter
to insure springâ€™s rich bounty
too numerous to imagine
all will be spring succulent
from buildiing winter waters
swell with migrating fish
soon they journey home
these fresh waters of new birth
birds and animals
flock and gather
embraced by this season
of quiet renewal
in step and harmony
with this cycle
they too will welcome spring
with plentiful new life
a sustaining love
nurtured to witness
the eventual spring
â€¢ â€¢ â€¢
rob kistner Â© 2008
â€¢ Oregon Autumn rain on conifer needles
â€¢ Autumn at Sokol Blosser Vineyards, Willamette Valley Oregon
â€¢ Sockeye salmon, Deschutes River, Oregon
â€¢ Autumn Cascade Mountain Lake, Oregon