Fall Equinox 2016

Posted on Sep 21, 2016 in Books, Reflections, Seasonal Messages

Enjoy the trees blowing in the wind while reading a book on the couch, my favorite thing.

Those were the parting words of the owner who last lived in my condo. I too enjoy the sound of the leaves in the wind. I notice them more in the fall, maybe because the leaves are crisper or maybe because there’s more wind. I’ve set my reading couch to look right out the window of my writing room, right into the eye of the trees. Our courtyard is full of them. As I write this, I’m listening.

Summers I like to read: classical literature or philosophy; I alternate. This summer I read Heraclitus, a kind of Ecclesiastes of the fifth century Greek world, a philosopher, literally a “lover of wisdom,” but a century or two ahead of Socrates, Plato and Ecclesiastes. Scholars credit Heraclitus with the notion of Logos (or Word) in Western thought.

By cosmic rule,
as day yields night,
so winter summer,
war peace, plenty famine.
All things change.

Fragments+ is a thin book really, called that because all we have left of Heraclitus are other people’s quotes of his writings. As a book it’s more poetry than prose, more contemporary than ancient, or perhaps it is the times we are living through that are ancient.

But Heraclitus is not done with us. There’s something else to this fragment, one of the longer ones we have received from him. He makes reference to the closeness of death; close, too, during this season:

Fire penetrates the lump
of myrrh, until the joining
bodies die and rise again
in smoke called incense.

I recall one of my professors once saying that you could translate the opening words to the Gospel of John, “In the beginning was the Verb” instead of “the Word.” Logos is a motion, a process, all of it energy, what Heraclitus named fire. “All things change.” Somehow in the change is the Mystery.

+Heraclitus, Fragments, translated by Brooks Haxton, Penguin Books: Toronto.


  1. Jano Thibodeau
    September 24, 2016

    Thank you Audrey for the knowledge shared

  2. Pearl Gregor
    September 27, 2016

    Happy autumn, Audrey! I am not very familiar with Heraclitus except his name!
    I am however, very familiar with the notion of logos, the word. And I am currently in a deep study of eros.

    My next dream workshop is Telling our stories: Healing the feminine. We are both logos and eros with logos garnering the lion’s share of attention in the centuries since thinkers such as Heraclitus And whereas, he had much to tell us, the earth is eros, generative and feminine. Christ spoke to the Feminine as he chose to spend many hours with the men and women disciples. And when I speak of the Feminine, I speak to energy not gender for The Feminine and The Masculine for genderless.

    As I watch and love the fall, enjoy my earthly farm paradise as it turns its golden orbs of sunflowers to light the evening, I feel the pulsing of earth in wait for spring renewal, with death bringing its new life and resurrection.

    Take care. Thanks for Heraclitus!

  3. Linda Bumstead
    October 18, 2016

    I certainly appreciated your September blog, Audrey.
    Sometimes I find change so hard. This cosmic view of change is somehow comforting.