Sacred Harvest

20 Sep, 2012

by Dasha Kelly

I’ve always enjoyed fall. Not because of the burnished and bronze treetops or the soft comfort of an old sweater or for the ubiquity of football. Definitely not for the football.

Rather, I am incredibly buoyant during the early fall months, inspired by the season’s warmth and currents of change. Perhaps it’s trace enthusiasm for the first days of school.  It might be my practice of renewal during my Libra days. Or, maybe, I have ancient agrarian roots still eager about the harvest. Yeah, maybe.

Whatever the source, I am aware of the conversion taking place. My stroll is more purposeful against the retreating grass. The days approach more urgently as my calendar is layered with more meetings and appointments. I am meditative about possibilities and metamorphosis and preparing for harsher winds to come.

I carry this thoughtful quiet with me into the café this morning.  The restaurant is filled with guests. I take a deep breath and steel myself.  High voltage energy will require an extra effort from me today.

As is my usual rhythm, I take a seat to watch the room. After 20 minutes, longer than usual, I realize my calm has been absorbed into the low hum of the room.  I’m unaccustomed to early mornings in the hotel. At once, I am started and soothed by the stillness among this restaurant full of people. The servers smile and pass swiftly with plates of food. A large table is holding a breakfast social in the back.  A trio of guests lightly lob orders over the counter for made-to-order breakfast sandwiches. A woman sitting alone uses her forearm to pin down a paperback book  beside a plate of eggs. The space is active and still … still.

I move into the lobby lounge and find more morning mediation in motion: newspapers fan open and closed like rustling butterflies, revealing only glimpses of the people behind them; tall cups of coffee dot the table-scape of the room; no one is making eye contact; no one seems to be aware of the person beside them.  Everyone carefully packing and unpacking their ideas and plans for the day.

Although I’m pulled from my own thoughts, having begun to imagine the stories seated at each of these tables, I am loathe to interrupt anyone.  Not even the few tables with pairs of people talking in animated whispers. Not even them. Not this morning. This morning feels sacred somehow, as guests scroll through their smart phones, scribble into notepads, consult their watches, and wait.

The quiet will end soon.

A man sitting on a lobby couch folds his paper and stands.  He’s a tall, stocky guy, I’d guess in his mid 50s, dressed in jeans and a Raiders long-sleeve shirt.  He tucks the newspaper into a pocket of his roller bag and guides his luggage out of the lobby lounge.

I step back over to the café side and nearly collide with a conga line of guests leaving their large table meeting.  New diners are arriving in twos, some with matching padfolios and some with matching wedding rings.

The quiet. It will end.

A woman races in, arms weighted with bags and folders and gadgets.  She rattles off a breakfast order, bounces from foot to foot while the barista and cook prepare, pays for her to go meal and flies out again.

The quiet has gone.  In a matter of minutes, the vibration of the cafe has changed to a heightened frequency and the new guests are arriving with intention.

I am still in a space of contemplation, however, and would like to hover here a bit longer.  Perhaps this is what endears me to Fall, a sense of being suspended inside the transition from summer to winter.  Here, in this narrow window of days, transformation is the priority.  Right now, inside this sliver of a harvest morning, it will be the promise of emerging possibilities to carry me through a gorgeous autumn day.

About the author

Dasha Kelly

Dasha Kelly is founder and director of Still Waters Collective, a Milwaukee-based outreach initiative utilizing the transformative power of the written and spoken word. Dasha has performed and delivered workshops to writers, youth, educators, co-eds, executives, inmates and artists throughout the U.S. She is also an HBO Def Poetry alum. As a poet and novelist, Dasha’s writings have appeared in anthologies, text books, magazines and online. Her latest collection of work, Hershey Eats Peanuts is available through Penmanship Books. She is currently working on her second novel and a new collection of essays.

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