Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Autumnal Sky

Christopher Capell photo
The word equinox comes from the Latin words for "equal night." The fall and spring equinoxes are the only days of the year in which the Sun crosses the celestial equator.
From here on out, the temperatures begin to drop and the days start to get shorter than the nights. — Farmer's Almanac

Practice, life,  everything, about living, it seems, comes down to balance between opposites: light and dark, hard and soft, life and death, sweet and sour, male and female, heaven and earth.  The Autumnal equinox was Monday, providing a fine opportunity to stop a moment to marvel at the earth hanging in balance between all these poles.

I celebrated the equinox by planting my feet on the earth and looking up at the sky. After an early-morning practice in San Francisco with Peter Sanson, a visiting Certified Ashtanga teacher from New Zealand, I headed up Hawk Hill in Marin for my fortnightly stint as a Hawk Watch volunteer. By the time I left the studio, the sun was fully up, the sky was clear and bright blue, making a perfect backdrop for hundreds of migrating raptors. A half hour late to my shift, I barely had time to say hello to my hawk-watch team-mates as there were so many hawks in the sky: Cooper's Hawks, Sharp-shinned hawks, Broad-Winged hawks and more, there were hawks everywhere. The day would go by quickly as there was rarely a moment when the sky wasn't busy with migrating birds (and the hill full of both tourists enjoying a stellar view of San Francisco and other avid bird watchers). It was tremendous. It was was wonderful. 

Autumn Sky

By Charles Simic
In my great grandmother's time,   
All one needed was a broom   
To get to see places   
And give the geese a chase in the sky.   


The stars know everything,   
So we try to read their minds.   
As distant as they are,   
We choose to whisper in their presence.   


Oh Cynthia,   
Take a clock that has lost its hands   
For a ride.   
Get me a room at Hotel Eternity   
Where Time likes to stop now and then.   


Come, lovers of dark corners,   
The sky says,   
And sit in one of my dark corners.   
There are tasty little zeroes   
In the peanut dish tonight.

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