As I sat on the porch step very early this morning waiting for Orange the cat to arrive, I savored the breezy chill of the air. There’s just something about autumn that is mellowing to my spirit. It’s not necessarily the colorful leaves because most of them have fallen away by now. When the sky is overcast, the cloud cover is less menacing. When the sky has no clouds, the air is clearer than in summer but is less so than in winter. The coolness of autumn is stimulating whereas the heat of summer makes me feel lazy and the cold of winter urges me to stamp my feet and move briskly around.
Autumn, in my opinion, is more harmonious than spring. Autumn weather tends to be less violent than the urgent awakenings that come with violent spring storms. While spring is like an alarm clock in the morning, autumn is a cozy chair in the afternoon suitable for reading or contemplation.
Orange half-trots, half-pads across the front yard to greet me with his meow. We slow-blink together to signal our harmonious intentions. Orange jumps onto my lap then flexes his toes to gather the warmth of my body. Does he feel the essence of a deep interspecies trust? I like to believe that he does. The combination of the dark, chilly morning and the sunny warmth of the cat brings about feelings of contentment, respect, and compassion.
Too soon, Orange scampers away, yet he seems somewhat reluctant while doing so. He must follow his inner cat nature, yet perhaps feels the tug of my affection that keeps him coming back most days. With the cat’s absence, it’s time for me to return inside to the refuge of the house and continue contemplating the concept of harmony.
It’s healthy to contemplate one’s life philosophy. What beliefs have we outgrown; what beliefs hinder our interpersonal relationships; and what beliefs truly help us? Can one objectively analyze the indoctrination of one’s belief system? Can one go beyond society’s traditional expectations and choose to be authentic and true to oneself? At its heart, harmony is all about balance.
Ironically, outward and internal harmony often creates moral dilemmas. As one’s value system evolves and matures, there are consequences to remaining true to oneself. How do we connect and maintain connections with others? How does one connect with one’s remaining beliefs about life? Does the mind rigidly cling to dogmatic opinions or does one dare the heart to open up to ideas about existence that challenge beliefs?
“With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.”–William Wordsworth
To have inner harmony, requires a certain amount of effort and mindfulness. We encounter various people, situations, and forces of nature that seemingly compete with each other. We gain advantages and disadvantages, opportunities and lack of opportunities. Life is powered by both positive and negative at the atomic level. It is the unity of these forces that can bring about the isotope of fear or the molecule of joy.
Harmony is a quiet yet powerful way to experience life in its fullest form.