“Honoring Autumn” by Sophfronia Scott

07 November 2014 on Nonfiction   Tags:

Honoring autumn I turn my face to accept its first golden kiss, one silent plea for attention so honoring autumn I sit on a rock in the forest, patient audience to each leaf tumbling honoring autumn with my presence which autumn returns to me with the word “moment” wrapped in twigs and wild grape vines that fall through my hands so the word disappears at once as I sense it and I offer my full gaze honoring autumn because no one wants to die alone, not even the sugar maple leaves that burn bright red just to make me look and honoring autumn I do and see these leaves aflame and dying as tiny phoenixes again and again and in their smoke I smell cinnamon and in their smoke I smell nutmeg and I receive the promise of their ashes which I need since in honoring autumn I am listening to the bell tolls of my own death gently approaching and I will not miss it as I would if I didn’t think to cherish the leaves before a rainstorm knowing many will be loosed before their time and honoring autumn I am hospice preparing flowers for their winter demise and I am hope slipping bulbs like loving secrets into the earth and honoring autumn I remember the seed that sprouted my son planted in me in autumn and how he blooms and blooms an everyday spring reminding me of resurrection even as I am honoring autumn which I must do because death still must come first and I lower my aging body into hot baths so I will not resent the coming cold already creeping over the floorboards and honoring autumn I emerge from this liquid glowing and warm a newborn Venus, baptized and eager to embrace Harvest moon hanging full and heavy like a sleepy baby drunk from his mother’s breast and honoring autumn because autumn is orange like my hair and yellow like my skin and brown like my eyes and teaching me how the beauty of all three will soon fall away but autumn whispering hope and autumn whispering love and I am listening autumn and I am once more Red Riding Hood with my basket of light and smiles traipsing through the tangled neverwood of a beloved friend’s dream to deliver autumn’s message that we are eternal despite the falling all around us and honoring autumn he awakens and remembers he already heard this in a river carrying the autumn leaves away to their watery decay and I awaken to those autumn leaves glowing yellow outside my window and autumn calling me to come for I nearly slept through the moment of their letting go and I rise so I can learn to do the same releasing ego and essence evermore into deep, deep blue autumn skies and what is left of me falls into the softness of the loam returning to the first bed of my being to await the precious breath of the divine drawing me into life again.

Sophfronia Scott rakes lots of leaves into large jumping piles for her son in Sandy Hook, CT. She's author of the novel All I Need to Get By (St. Martin's Press, 2004) and has work in or forthcoming in Saranac Review, Sleet Magazine, Numero Cinq, Mid-American Review, and Ruminate Magazine (Finalist, 2014 VanderMey Nonfiction Prize). Sophfronia holds an MFA in writing, fiction and creative nonfiction, from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She recently completed her second novel and keeps in touch with readers at www.Sophfronia.com.

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