Sense The Season

537. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

A few days ago on my morning walk I sensed a hint of autumn in the air. There was the slightest breeze, cooler than the day before, and the subtle smell of leaves turning. I savored the moment as I do every year. I look forward with great relish to the day each year that I catch on the breeze the first hint of fall.

My grandfather lived his entire life in the same small area in Iowa. One day, as a boy, I was visiting, and we went to the park on a beautiful hot sunny day. He was looking for treasure with his metal detector and I followed with an old coffee can to hold the bounty and a screwdriver to poke into the dirt when treasure was detected. Suddenly he stopped, looked into the sky, closed his eyes – and “sensed” a change in the air. After a moment he said, “We better go home, it’s going to storm soon.” I was baffled. I could not sense anything. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky yet an hour later an intense storm blew through dumping buckets of rain. He had senses available to him that I did not; he had a specific relationship with a place and felt the rhythms and changes in his body. He was connected.

Brian McDonald opens his book, Invisible Ink, with this story: “An anthropologist was living among tribal people with little to no contact with the modern world. Wanting to share the marvels of technology with these isolated folks, the anthropologist took a photo of the chief and his wives. When the picture was processed and shown to the chief he was unable to recognize the blotches of black, white, and gray as an image of himself. He had never learned to translate two-dimensional images into recognizable three-dimensional shapes. That same chief, however, could look at a patch of grass and say what kind of animal had traversed it and how long ago with no more difficulty than you or I would have recognized ourselves in a photographic image.”

I look forward to that first hint of fall because I know it is a remnant of connection; it calls forward something in me, something deep and ancient. It is satisfying and evokes a kind of quiet affirmation that is rare in my urban indoor life. Catherine once told me that, “Nature yearns for us,” and I know that it is true. Often, when I am coaching or working with people and their creative blocks, deeply invested in their abstractions, I know that all they need do is go outside, recognize and reclaim their natural rhythm, and their capacity to sense the changes in the air. Just as nature yearns for us I know, like a long lost love, when we feel lost or blocked or void of meaning, we need only walk to shore, step into the woods, climb the ridge, close our eyes and receive the quiet touch that says, “Welcome home.”

One Response

  1. David, this is beautiful. I’ll take an even deeper breath today and keep my senses way wide open.

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