I walked yesterday through the West End of Portland, as a wild wind blew. It was a strangely warm day for early October and a full spectrum of red, crimson, and yellow leaves were spinning in circles. Pumpkins lay on doorsteps and there was this kind of funny, wild energy to the air.
The fall arrived this morning. It's been poking its head up for weeks, but this morning the temperatures fell deep down and the radiators surged.
I sat in the wooden chair where I drink my morning tea and looked out of the 100-year old window with its twelve panes of glass... and I saw the maple turning in the nun's garden.
This ancient tree stands across the street from our second floor apartment. It grows in the back garden of the Monastery of the Precious Blood. This historic building has been home to a cloistered community of Catholic nuns, who have lived here in prayer since 1934.
I live opposite the convent, and am one of the rare people who can look over their wooden fence. And it's truly like a secret garden in there, cut off from the busy world.
Their maple tree provides home to a community of crows and seems to be a timeless, motionless being in our midst. It listens to the musings of a community of nurses from Mercy Hospital who smoke under its shade. It fills my window with leaves and although we don't notice it most of the time, it is constantly changing.
This time of year, that change becomes vivid, like fire.
Where I contemplate my meditation practice and how it aligns with daily life.