This fall has been so beautiful I can hardly stand it. It is so beautiful it makes me weep. That is what happens, I guess, to the aging body and spirit. You become susceptible. I am developing a particular sensitivity to wonder.
I feel wonder in my chest and it can make my legs go weak, literally stopping me in my tracks, as it did yesterday on my daily walk down the road when I encountered this gray-dreadlocked specimen of a goldenrod stalk. I was feeling restless, impatient, full of longing and then, suddenly, at peace. And weepy.
I can’t explain why I was moved (or stopped, or floored) yesterday by subtle, fuzzy, seedy things rather than the more spectacular trees overhead. Well, the trees got my attention in the days before, taking my breath away, but yesterday it was asters gone to seed and yellow grasses and cattails. When I posted my pictures on Facebook the trees got many Likes, but yesterday the gray-brown things got more Likes in my soul.
Today, though, it’s the trees again, golden on a gray day (the iPhone doesn’t do them justice, too much green and not enough gold.) They’re gluing me to my porch swing.
The body is a marvelous sensing instrument, once you get beyond your enchantment with everything your head thinks and plans and accomplishes. The heart or the solar plexus, or something in the core of the body, is in tune with surroundings, a Geiger counter for beauty and right as well as a sensor for danger and unpleasantness and un-rightness. I can’t take bad food any more, just can’t take it. On the other hand, energy healing and other mystifying manipulations of unseen forces are more and more effective as I grow older. The veils between the physical and spiritual worlds–or maybe the seen and the unseen, the logical and the beyond-logic–are getting thinner. And maybe it’s not just age but practice and experience and training. I know plenty of younger people who are adepts in body wisdom and plenty of older people who are prisoners of their heads.
At the same time I notice a part of me wondering what use all of this is. Why sit so long on the porch when I could be doing something useful? How shall I put all this to use in this world? I observe the impatience, the consciousness of my age, going on 71 and what do I have to show for it? I observe my wish that all this would at least help me finish the book I am working on, make the writing easier rather than keep pulling the rug out from under it by constantly shifting my conclusions. That’s my head again, wanting to be in charge.