September Joy

I love the fall season. As a September baby, I remember planning birthday parties for both warm and sunny outdoor or chilly and rainy indoor activities. Around the fall equinox, it could go either way.

The cricket outside my window, trilling short police whistle blasts on a branch of the dawn redwood tree, summons no response on colder nights. Then last night, warm again, it received many return calls and the katydids in the woods beyond had no pause in their “Katy did, Katy didn’t “conversations.

This morning I wrote another haiku.

Arising thunder

Lightning flashes, rain falling

Close my small window

Rejoicing in berries, I have spied, white, red, purple, green and golden orange ones hanging on bushes and vines. Pine trees drop scaly cones, the cattails have turned into soft fluff, and the fallen mallow flowers have burst open their dark brown star pods. Plants leave us in so many diverse ways with their future regeneration assured. How and what will I leave when I go?

A hallway neighbor just turned one hundred and two today. Chronologically, I am the baby in this assisted living area though my neighbor is more physically mobile than I am. We all carry on with what we have as best we can.

Large swathes of the world mourn particular people, the state of politics, and the ongoing decimation of our planet. Within, I look for the root of all joy and delight in blueberries on my oatmeal, the first sip of hot Earl Grey tea, the song of Happy Birthday resonating from the dining area, the smell of petrichor in the newly wet soil, and the ability to share thoughts and words with you. If joy was not alive in the core of my being, how would I recognize joy in my quotidian life, given how much dire news is delivered to us every day?

Cultivating joy is not driven by my self-will. Curiosity, and an intention to focus on any small happiness that appears, helps to shift chronic pain to the background. These little reflections of pleasure emanate from a greater bliss within. I am learning to live through storms and birthdays with greater equanimity. I keep an LED tea light switched on all day, every day, on my bureau to remind myself that the light of joy is always burning.

7 thoughts on “September Joy

  1. Beautiful, Judi. I was thinking of you on the 16th. We are both September babies. Mine is today. I share your love of autumn. I have always found it a tme of excitement and promise. Carry on, dear cousin! Meed

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  2. Hi Judi,

    Thanks for this lovely post. 🌻

    I know your birthday is very soon and I always think of you. 🎂

    September is full of birthdays, my mom’s my mother’s mom’s, Eleanor’s and yours.

    A Bard friend shares a birthday with you as well.

    I’ve delighted in the crickets and katy dids this summer, especially at night as I fall asleep.

    I will look for an LED tea light. What a great way to remind yourself of joy!

    I’ve also been deeply enjoying my garden this summer, will try to send you some photos.

    Love to all,

    Alexis

    >

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  3. Thank you, Judi. This is so helpful to me. I feel I lost some of my joy along the way of Covid internment. You are a shining example for me to look more closely at what exists around me. Thank you. Much love and Happy Birthday.

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  4. I find September bittersweet–the letting go of the hot nights, the less busy time of summer, the long days—and at the same time refreshing. However, the month is a harbinger to colder and darker days which don’t agree with me. I keep strings of twinkle lights in my family room to turn on after sundown.

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