A Touch of Autumn, Reminders of Impermanance

Autumn's Touch © 2013 Bo Mackison

Autumn’s Touch © 2013 Bo Mackison

“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last,
but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.” ~ W. Somerset Maugham

A dozen geese, in formation, fly over my back porch as I stand watching traces of sunlight shimmer through the rainclouds. They are so near I can see the layering of their feathers, their muscles flexing, hear the whirr-whirr of their wings in synchronous flight.

I am on my porch, a screened affair, three sides visually open to the back yard, the gardens and trees. The skies, blue earlier, are now gray and threatening. A path meanders along the back of the garden and through the neighborhood. There are occasional lamp posts – Narnia style – to light the way at night. The lamp flickers on mid-morning, gradually emitting a soft glow.

There is a glider on the porch and a side table. I sit there for thinking time, quiet time, connecting time. Often I light the candle on the table – its flame a reminder of the light in the world, the energy contained in the small flame, useful in containment, but enlivened fury when out of control. I think about self-direction and discipline.

There is a round table and two chairs opposite the glider. I set up a work station on the table. It doubles as office during the day, dining nook on warm summer evenings. I have assembled piles of journals, books, a pad of notes, my computer. My Miro coffee cup.

Tucker, the Writing Companion Cat © 2013 Bo Mackison

Tucker, the Writing Companion Cat © 2013 Bo Mackison

There is a cat. He alternately snoozes in the comfy space behind my open computer screen and peeks around at the monitor’s ever changing screen, ready to attack the cursor as it moves. He prowls the edges of the porch, on the look out for baby rabbits who recently ventured from their underground nest, a late brood.When he can’t pounce on his preferred furry targets, he slinks along the polished floor, and substitutes my toes for target practice. A cat is distraction, entertainment. I consider coaxing him into the house with catnip treats, but I like his company, and his cat sense of humor.

There is an approaching storm. Thunder rolls, rain plops in spattery drops on large-leafed hosta in the north garden. Leaves sprawled in disarray, as if an elephant used the plants as his foot path. Bright green only a week ago, today they are a green-gray, wrinkled and yellow-tipped. Touched by autumn’s early breath, they quickly aged.

There is the work I’ve just begun. A writing project with an encroaching due date. But the rain is blowing, the thunder fiercer as it approaches with a slow rumble. The cat has gone inside to hide under the couch, waiting for me to pack up my papers and books, my journals and computer, and come join him in the softly lit study.

There I am warmer, it is a much quieter space. Not nearly as evocative for story-imagining, dreaming, nature-study. The cat watches from under his protective furniture, his golden eyes aglow. I re-settle. It is a good day to write, wherever I find my space.


Bo Mackison is artist, photographer, book-maker, naturalist, poet, curator, and owner of Seeded Earth Studio LLC. It is a good day for writing projects, accompanied by rainfall, whispering trees, and a jumpy cat.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Your stories capture interesting and entertaining thoughts and feelings. Very enjoyable.

  2. ellen howard says:

    Beautiful! I love your writing style.

  3. Thundery, rainy days are perfect for writing. That the kitty cat keeps you company is icing on the cake. Lovely, Bo.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Sometimes that kitty cat gets in big trouble, too. Like today for example, when he swiped everything off several table tops and then swiped at me when I moved him! He was having a bad fur day! Usually, he’s a great companion.

  4. Oh how I love a good rainy day with thunder to rattle the eaves! Beautifully written!

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Thundery days are fun — on occasion. I’m a big fan of sunny days, but writing is always grand on rainy days.

  5. Absolutely jealous. That porch of yours was always a favorite place of mine. Seems surreal and completely inspiring. Wonderful.

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