Today is a beginning. It marks the first day of Autumn, my choice room in the four seasons. The thirsty dryness and heat and constant bared flesh of summer are gone. It is not yet the starkness of winter, although winter brings the freshness of death, dissipating slowly, returning in ever-decreasing waves, and then vanishing. And I like witnessing the disappearance of death. Then, it is the sudden! first bloom of spring and love simply runs rampant then. And that is very nice. But ugh, summer returns with its parched cravings. And I can get very thirsty . . .

So, yes, that leaves Autumn. The first wisp portends glory for me. The air changes ever so slightly and then grows cooler. And the trees brace themselves for the wonder of falling. And the wonder continues and goes on and on with the coloring leaves coming off and off. Leaves are the life of those trees, and the trees know that their lifelines, veins forking from the center of the leaves and becoming one with them, are departing, never to return. And the trees, wizened already even in their youth—but the ancient ones, oh my God, how they show their true nature in their furrowed outer layers and the twists and turns of their branches—all the trees young and old that have fashioned slow curves, responding in tree time to unknown obstacles or encounters which pass unseen to us, but in the full presence of these magnificent organisms that reach for the sky, these trees are anchored deep within the earth. And deeper than we can perceive, they are connected to all of life by the soil, and to each other through intertwined roots, and through fungi that help nourish them and connect them further to one another. And these same beings that go deep and reach high, also reach out through pheromones, using tree words to communicate pain, injury, and, I imagine, joy.

They have prepared for their lifelines falling away, by storing sweetness within their depths, far within where it matters most, so that when life begins again after the slow death has diminished, they can once again bring renewal from their own strength, and survive the coming thirst.

Yes, it is Autumn that I claim as a beginning. And on this day, in a blog (what a word!) I share my own stored sweetness, and I allow my own lifelined leaves to fall outward to you. And the wind may blow wherever it chooses, and that wind is the Spirit and it will take these drifting words and spread them, and you can simply pick up whatever you see. Hold one leaf word, toss another, take as many as you want and crush them, or protect them, or let them fall again for someone else, becoming your own leaves. There will be more as long as I too am anchored deep, where my own roots are intertwined with others, and with some of you, so deeply that we speak directly with the Word beyond words, and as long as I reach for the sky toward the sun (always present, even when dimmed to my vision), I will let them fall.

Enjoy! Bring joy and receive joy, and know that your presence here is my joy, dear reader. Dear ones who share this journey through the seasons and through the words that become falling leaves or that may be a kind of death or that will be seeds that produce new life or at times be bared flesh, revealing too much or not enough, all of this I give to you. And it is myself that I give, a Self truly seen and covered only by what I call God, but seen and covered here in WaughPaper.