Stubbed toes give reason to prop feet up and pause

Published 10:17 am Friday, September 27, 2013

“Smoke hangs like haze over harvested fields, 

The gold of stubble, the brown of turned earth

And you walk under the red light of fall

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The scent of fallen apples, the dust of threshed grain

The sharp, gentle chill of fall.

Here as we move into the shadows of autumn

The night that brings the morning of spring

Come to us, Lord of Harvest

Teach us to be thankful for the gifts you bring us …”

– Autumn Equinox Ritual

Summer disappeared overnight and fall is on our doorstep; leaves starting to change here and there, Joe Pye weed swaying a soft dance along Saluda back roads. Fall comes with a whisper amid blue clear skies, whispers of ever-turning seasons, life itself. Hummingbirds linger, the little rascals fighting over feeders; butterflies flit through afternoon sunshine.

River dog lazes on the back deck, snoozing happily, soaking up warmth, as dogs love to do. Barefoot, no glasses on, I manage to trip over him and smash toes on the downswing, the resulting language coloring ears of anyone within a mile. River snoozes on, blissfully unaware of the crisis as I hunt up an emergency bag of frozen peas for fast-swelling black and blue toes, mentally kicking myself amid the mind-boggling pain for not wearing glasses or footwear. However, over the past weeks as the toes healed slowly, very slowly, I found myself hobbled enough to have to prop feet up, to take time to read a new book, to watch the clouds overhead. Just a little reminder to come back to earth, watch the changing leaves, and just be in that moment. And will I learn my lesson? Probably not: there’s nothing better than bare feet on a sunny afternoon.