A note from the editor:
This week, we have a guest blog from Zach Abbey. Zach is an Ananda Minister and lives and works at Ananda Farm in Camano Island (Ananda is the organization that runs East West). You can find Zach at various farmers markets in the greater Seattle and Everett areas, and selling produce after Sunday Service at the Ananda Temple in Bothell. Some products from Ananda farm can also be found at East West Bookshop.
Rising into Fall
"I wonder how it is that people's philosophies have come to spin faster than the changing seasons."
Masanobu Fukuoka, author, One Straw Revolution
Well, the season has officially shifted. The days, getting shorter. The big leaf maple trees, dropping their magnificent, big leaf maple leaves, all over the farm, and all over western Washington.
The mornings alternate between moderate and near frosty temperatures. Just ask momma goat and her morning milker in the lower field!
The Foghorns in the Saratoga pass often echo throughout the early hours, giving amplification to the magical mist which fills the air all around, before giving way to vast blue sky of the afternoon, and the blissful hue of golden hour in the early evening. A perfect time to visit the alpacas and bench on sunset hill.
Night skies alternate from complete cloud-covered darkness, to incredible light shows of the stars. In their countless and oft barely perceptible infinitude, all revealing in their own sparkling way, the one great Light just on the other side of that dark canopy of night sky.
Meanwhile, huge wind gusts from the south sea return sporadically in fall force, sending the superb spinning maple helicopter seeds sailing through the sky like streamers on the 4th of July. The Autumn winds mean it's past time to stake the remaining baby fruit trees, take down the summer canopies and greenhouses, and latch the hatches of all the swinging gates and doors of the homestead.
Thousands of spiders and their miraculous inter-webs fill the orchards, kale gardens, and farm thoroughfares alike.
A parliament of owls assemble in the wee hours to hoot and sing across the farm with incredible clarity. And the big-moon evenings bring out the coyote clan in full chorus, keeping the farm dogs awake and ready. Somebody has to keep watch on the chickens tonight.
Yes, the season is indeed shifting towards shorter days, and darker nights. But isn't it glorious?
At Ananda Farm on Camano Island, life hums along with the seasons. The final apples have been picked, and pressed!
The woodstoves are back in action. The season of perpetual soup eating and hot cider drinking, is nearly here. And so too, the ever expanding farm to-do list that has been set aside (and growing!) for some many months of farmers markets, farm suppers, open houses and tours. That is to say, this summer has been great, but the fall. Is. Awesome.
Why is that? Because the fall is right NOW. The opportunity yoga-nature farm-life affords a lucky few of us, is to live, breathe and soar in the ever present and ever changing seasons of life. An opportunity we take not for granted.
No season is of course better than the others, except in the sense that Joy is always in the right now season of life.
That season we live and breathe and bask in; sit and play in; that season we are in harmony with; That is the season and the Joy of the eternal now. .
No matter how frequent the rain; how dark the sky, how damp and dingy the humble accommodations, Saint Francis of Assisi always felt and expressed his gratitude for the moment, for "Sister water," "Brother Wind," for all the seasons of life. He found each circumstance perfect, and full in the perfect joy of the Divine Presence.
Yet, one needn't farm, nor live in bird-nest hut like Saint Francis of Assisi, though both seem like perfectly good options to this Ananda farmhand. One may well live in Ballard like a beetle or in Seattle like a seahawk, to know, the season of now is ALWAYS right now.
So here is to wishing one and all, a glorious fall. May we gratefully reap the harvests of work done before, joyfully shed the leaves of today which serve us no more, and lovingly prune the tree of life, for an abundant future to soar.
May the perfect joy of Saint Francis, and this magical fall season, shine upon you!
With many blessings and aspiring perfect joy,
Zach, Ananda Farm, South Camano Island.
CANTICLE OF THE CREATURES by Saint Francis
Most High, all-powerful, good Lord,
all praise is yours, all glory, all honor,
and all blessing.
To you, alone, Most High, do they belong.
No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.
All praise be yours, my Lord,
through all you have made,
and first my lord Brother Sun, who brings the day;
and through whom you give us light.
How beautiful is he, how radiant in all his splendor;
Of you, Most High, he bears the likeness.
All Praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Moon
and the stars; in the heavens you have made them,
bright, and precious, and fair.
All praise be yours, my Lord,
through Brothers wind and air, and fair and stormy,
all the weather's moods,
by which you cherish all that you have made.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Water,
so useful, humble, precious and pure.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Brother Fire,
through whom you brighten up the night.
How beautiful is he, how cheerful!
Full of power and strength.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through our Sister
Mother Earth, who sustains us and governs us,
and produces various fruits with colored flowers
All praise be yours, my Lord,
through those who grant pardon for love of you;
through those who endure sickness and trial.
Happy are those who endure in peace,
By You, Most High, they will be crowned.
All praise be yours, my Lord, through Sister Death,
From whose embrace no mortal can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Happy those she finds doing your will!
The second death can do them no harm.
Praise and bless my Lord, and give him thanks
And serve him with great humility.