This autumn day sparks poetry — or at best, a grateful heart

Funny, I wanted to write a poem about this autumn day.  In the midst of a bad sciatic nerve attack that has restricted my movements for days – I fancied writing poetry.  Strange, don’t you think?

No, not really. This autumn day in Palo Alto, CA, as I woke up and gazed out my glass patio door, I spotted droplets of early morning rain on my balcony rail, and a gentle sprinkle from above.  Slivers of sunbeams pierced through spaces between billows of dark clouds in the sky and danced in the transparencies of the dew drops.  I saw the breeze flirting with tree branches for a light shake that caused a dash of colors to slither to the ground.  I saw yellows burst out between the bold reds and the earthly browns.  Yet, to the left of that brightly spruced tree is a deciduous with leaves that stubbornly stay freshly green, and I wondered why it hasn’t kept pace with its neighbors. And then, I heard the eerily rapturous whisper of the wind pass my balcony glass door.

The truth is, I determined to find reasons to distract me from focusing on the clutch of sciatica. I found them. For one, today shows traces of rain from the night before, and more promise of rain by the looks of the sky.  In California, good, temperate rain is manna – the nemesis of fires, the quencher to drought in the land, the much welcomed fresh spray to the air.  On a miniscule scale, the plants outside my front door have perked up.  The leaves of the jade plant have turned succulently plump, and the slender tendrils of the spider plant convalesced from their sluggish crouch for an aggressive and longer reach.  A lot to be thankful for this autumn day.

So, you see why I was inspired to dabble in poetry this autumn day.

A stunning picture of autumn in the Colorado mountain (Photo by Cai Zhang)

Sciatica is a bummer, but there’s an upside about it.  It makes me stop and rest not just for a bit, but “many bits” to relax the irritated nerve on the left side of my lower back. While resting, I listen to my favorite music, old songs that travel me back in time and surge happy memories.  I look out my window and gush at the splash of colors, a miracle of beauty right before my eyes. I contemplate on the cleverness of the Creator and the magnanimity of His creation. Then I tell myself, He did all that, that I might enjoy it, as I enjoy it now this autumn day.

And more to be thankful for.  Because I can’t fiddle much in the kitchen, I eat more fruits from my frig.  So, just now, I had a large red and yellow “Lady” apple with a cup of Greek yogurt.  The combination was exquisite in my palate – a hint of sour merged with the light sweet and tangy all delightfully squeezed in a chew.  I really should eat more of this even  without sciatica.  So there, a lesson learned and a resolution I am thankful for this autumn day.  One thing else, turmeric powder mixed with ginger and green tea in hopes of relaxing that sciatic nerve.  The drink is actually refreshingly delicious!  Another “discovery” I shall continue even during well days – a twinkle in the docket of things I am thankful for this autumn day.

As I sit momentarily sedentary, I turn to my group chat network with former high school classmates in Naga City, Philippines, seeking to be entertained by delightful news and funny exchanges, updates on restricted socials and quirky tips on baby boomer health.  But none of those today.  Today, it’s about another earthquake in a series that started with a major one last week.  Eight aftershocks on the heels of a major quake, and two strong ones in the last 24 hours.  Now, that’s worrisome. The chat room is heavy with calls for prayers of protection.  Then I think, there must be something to be thankful for in the midst of fear and anxiety among those in Naga and surrounding areas.  Yes, there is!  But for rattled nerves, thank God, my family, batchmates, friends, and all others are safe.

Tomorrow, another autumn day – more rain I hear, more marbles for poetry, an entertaining gaze at vibrantly bursting colors outside my window, more old tunes and soothing music to daydream with, a comfortable snuggle on a warm couch, more fruits and green tea – and many more reasons to thank God for.

Have a wonderful autumn day, everyone!

Linda P. Jacob

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