When Snow Blossoms

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Snow has blossomed all around.  The cotton fields are white.  With a little imagination, a cotton field, this time of year, looks like the remnants of a snowfall.  Cotton is a pretty crop that blooms in shades of pink and purple in the summer.  The cotton itself is pretty and folks often use it in arrangements.  Picking cotton is an awful job.  The soft cotton is encased in a tough, sharp casing, that pricks the picker without mercy.  My grandmother said her hands would be so sore for days, after picking.  Of course now the process of picking cotton is a mechanical one and usually harmless.

Since there was no school today, I left for Elizabeth city early, just after the first light had brightened the rabbit patch.  The trees are especially pretty, now.  I saw the plum colored cherry and the apricot crepe myrtle while driving.  The woods seemed gilded in shades of gold as the sun cast its’ morning light.  Autumn is a lovely time, I thought.

There was very little traffic so I could take note of the natural beauty occurring now-and I did not come up short.  Twice, I saw blackbirds flying.  This is a particularly beloved sight for me.

 A long time ago,  calamity descended on me and affected me as nothing ever had.  I was sure I would never get clear of it.  In despair,  one morning I cried out to the heavens and presented my case.  I was sure that I could certainly never take pleasure in life again and so was destined for  a life of gloom.  Surely, with this hanging over me,  I could not serve any purpose in life.  At that moment, I heard far off , the song of blackbirds.  They flew right over me for a good while.  They seemed to stretch from one horizon to the other.  I was surprised that even briefly, I had ceased my lamenting.  Somehow I felt great comfort that something remained unchanged in the midst of my chaos and  I took heart that other moments were bound to appear as if to cheer me on.  As it turned out I was right- and so I remember that morning, whenever I see blackbirds flying.

Lyla and I took a walk, not long after breakfast.  The air was brisk and colorful leaves discarded from ancient trees littered the sidewalk.  We heard a ruckus and saw it was a bluejay arguing with a dove about something.  Bluejays are known to be quarrelsome and apt to steal from unguarded nests, so they aren’t popular with all folks-but you know I love them any way.  I have seen a blue jay send out a warning to the the bird community when he spots a snake or a hawk.  At those times, birds of all feathers  will flock together, but it is the bluejay that leads the battle.

The neighborhood was  quiet this morning.  We watched some ducks gliding in the laughing river .  The sky was cloudless and there wasn’t even a slight breeze.  I expect we will walk again before supper.  It is just too nice out, in autumn and it seems almost sinful, not to notice.

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8 thoughts on “When Snow Blossoms

  1. I was needing a walk! Thanks for taking me along. No walk for us today, it’s opening day of pheasant and quail. Lots of hunters out and it’s been a good year for the bird population.
    I love cotton fields, you will see an occasional cotton patch here in KS. Can’t imagine picking it by hand.
    Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs to Lydia

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  2. Once again, a beautiful post that helped me calm down after a particularly stressful week, and gain some much-needed perspective. Thank you! (And I totally get you about the Blue Jays … I understand why some people aren’t fond of them, but I love them! I’m biased, of course, because of our baseball team!)

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  3. It does seem sinful not to notice autumn, and this year our is particularly wondrous, lingering long and warm with lovely leaf-littered walks and yards. How I would like to see a field of cotton like so many small snowballs. I can’t imagine it. I loved your blackbird story. Birds have always brightened my day, and I like all of them equally, even those with bad reputations — when judged by human standards. A wonderful post. Thank you.

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  4. Catching up on my reading, I came across your passage describing the weight of calamity.
    We seem to be alike in this regard as well.
    It was the simple and grand beauty of life itself, this Great Cosmos, and the unconditional love of a revered companion that drew me back after some time on my knees.
    We rise and fall, like riding great swells in the ocean. For each one we plunge rapidly down, there is the next crest with which we rise.
    Now the long view embraces the continuum, and seeks joy in everything the great ride holds.
    And now the ride has brought me here, to you and The Rabbit Patch.
    And I am thankful for this joy.
    We must continue to add to that side of the scale, always!

    Seek peace,

    Paz

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