Autumn Regret (for a day, anyway)

For months now I have been anticipating a retreat which begins today. Unfortunately I am too sick to drive the hour it would take to get to the retreat. And, really, do my clergy colleagues want to be exposed to me and these flu/cold germs? I don’t think so. I am grateful that the fever I’ve had for two days seems to be gone. But I am left with a thick, foggy head, coughing and sneezing…kleenex is my bff. My retreat time will be spent at home, in bed, with tea. sigh.

Instead of being able to enjoy some time in the country I offer this poem from Mary Oliver…

Song for Autumn

In the deep fall
    don’t you imagine the leaves think how
comfortable it will be to touch
    the earth instead of the
nothingness of air and the endless
    freshets of wind? And don’t you think
the trees themselves, especially those with mossy,
    warm caves, begin to think
of the birds that will come — six, a dozen — to sleep
    inside their bodies? And don’t you hear
the goldenrod whispering goodbye,
    the everlasting being crowned with the first
tuffets of snow? The pond
    vanishes, and the white field over which
the fox runs so quickly brings out
    its blue shadows. And the wind pumps its
bellows. And at evening especially,
    the piled firewood shifts a little,
longing to be on its way.

Mary Oliver
New and Selected Poems: Volume Two
Beacon Press

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About Terri C Pilarski

I am an Episcopal priest serving a delightfully progressive, interesting, creative congregation. I have been married more than half my life to the same man. We have two grown children, plus two dogs and two cats, although the number of four legged household members changes from time to time. I love to garden, knit, read, and play on Facebook or with my blog. I have been a practitioner of daily meditation since I was nineteen. I practice yoga five days a week and walk every where I am able too.
This entry was posted in Autumn, Mary Oliver, retreat. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Autumn Regret (for a day, anyway)

  1. Lisa :-] says:

    Mary Oliver is my hero… Glad your fever is gone you should be better soon.

  2. oh no! be good to yourself and get the rest you need.it is allergy crazy here. harvest is full-on and with the drought, dust is everywhere. i can dust today, and tomorrow you wouldn't know it. so i'm wearing my spectacles today instead of contacts…bailey bean sends get well doggie kisses. (good thing ya got the kleenex right there!)

  3. altar ego says:

    Such evocative lines about fall. Of all the seasons, fall touches me in a deep place that is more about the senses than particular memories. Odd, now that I think about it.I'm sorry you missed the retreat you anticipated. Being home sick is simply not the same, no matter how it offers us time to reflect or consider what lies within and without. Prayers for your continued healing and return to vitality.

  4. Katherine E. says:

    Hope you continue on the mend, Terri. So sorry you missed a retreat! (I could use one myself!)

  5. Robin says:

    Beautiful poem. So sorry about the missed retreat.

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