The wind is blowing today and swirling the leaves around, autumnal messages from the trees to the earth below, red songs, yellow secrets, laments in purple and whispers in brown. Millions of millions of leaves, each one entirely unique, soon to die and rot. And there are millions and millions of words, uttered and written, though many unspoken and unread. Humbling! Autumn does that to you.
I have had a number of book signings and given some talks this summer, following the publication of my book, ‘The Lost Journey Homeward’, in June. It’s good to meet readers and sweet to the soul when they buy your book and take it away to read. Occasionally I get feedback, which is so useful, but usually I hear nothing from those who buy and read my book. I often wonder if my words, my story and my message about the human heart really do ever make a difference and impel someone to think about life and vital aspects of it such as forgiveness and hope and love.
I am reminded of Shelley’s magnificent Ode to the West Wind, which I studied at school and university. I do so love Shelley’s poems and in particular the final stanza of this one. Many years have passed since I was first blown away by this poem and learned it by heart. Having become a writer, I now understand much better the urgency he expresses towards the end of this ode – his passionate desire that his verse and his thoughts be disseminated throughout the world. His poetry is now known to hundreds of thousands of people. My prose, my words – probably only by a few hundred. But that does not mean I don’t have a message.
There is hope of a better world, and, as I believe, of eternity with the author of love. As the trees head into the hibernation of winter, we can be sure of spring with buds, leaves and foliage. As the world appears to be going ‘Downward to darkness on extended wings’ (from ‘Sunday Morning’ by Wallace Stevens), I shall trust that the headlong rush into war and misery by the greedy, the cruel and the misguided will be slowed down and one day reversed by the patient, long-suffering and quiet majority of those living on this beautiful earth. I shall try to be at peace with winter as I wait.
From the final stanza from Ode to the West Wind by Shelley