After the withering parch and scorch
of another drought-stricken summer,
October has kindly gifted us at last
with the blessings of a drenching rain,
and all of the moistened earth rejoices!
We just got our load of seasoned firewood
stacked and covered with plastic tarps in time —
we’re ready now for the chilly days ahead.
It’s an autumnal ritual here in the mountains,
at least for those of us who still rely on wood
to help heat the house, and maybe cook our food.
I once might have alluded to us all being fuel
for the fire of inquiry, that all of our self-images
are tinder for the flames of liberation, but now
I no longer care for metaphors, they are too facile
and merely add another layer of mental fluff.
When asked by a student,
“Where is that place where there is no hot or cold?”
an old master kindly replied:
“In the summer we sweat, in the winter we shiver.”
That about sums it up.