If you’re reading Mary Oliver’s Twelve Moons as a lunar calendar with me this year, it’s time for another one of the poem’s not associated with a specific moon phase. It seems like there have been a lot of these “extra” poems on the schedule lately. I think we’re at the tail end of the more prolific part of the book. Before long, the poems will come only at the moon phases. I think we have to actually skip a phase or two to make the calendar work out.
At any rate, today’s poem is Aunt Leaf. This is one of the poems that made me think Ms. Oliver may actually have intended her book to be a lunar calendar. It’s certainly perfect for this season of falling leaves.
Autumn had definitely enfolded us here on the homestead before our recent trip south. That trip dislodged us seasonally somewhat, as we traveled through the Canadian high country, where autumn colors are in full bloom, to Washington, where a late heat wave gave us a taste of summer we never got at home, back through the fall-painted high country, and home to our natural season. Golden and pale yellow birch leaves have confounded my mushroom hunting, decoying me away from the real thing time and time again. Leaves litter the swale, which I carefully raked clear at the end of summer, so that I could collect the leaves when they came, as biofilter for our compost.
Aunt Leaf also appeals to me on other levels. While I never had a true imaginary friend, I certainly spent many happy hours of my youth in imaginary play that often sent me wandering through the woods and other wilds. I may never have truly outgrown that, come to think of it.