I believe that yesterday was the last glorious day in the life of this goose. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so alive — perhaps I’ll never feel that way again. Such is Autumn…
Mother Goose leapt aboard her old-fashioned Schwinn Collegiate (circa 1975) and pedaled away in search of a quiet place to sit and read a story to herself. With her goose neck craning to admire every single tree and garden along the way, Mother Goose inhaled the smells, the sights and sounds of the lovely residential streets in Oak Park. Before I could say “Jack Spratt”, I arrived at Austin Gardens.
Originally the homestead of Mr. Austin and his family at the time when the 1800′s were beginning to think about turning into the 1900′s, this beautiful plot of land is now public property in the heart of Oak Park. The village people have left the northern third of the park as a wooded lot — it almost feels like northern Minnesota if I close my eyes.
Mother Goose rode old Schwinny around the park, being careful not to run over any of the native walkers and dog lovers. In the summertime, the Oak Park Village Players stage Shakespearean dramas under the moonlight and ancient oaks. Today, Mother Nature was staging her own drama, and Mother Goose snuck into the theater for free.
As I coasted to a stop in front of my favorite bench, I noticed the new sculpture in the park. The title of the piece is “Well”; it was created by Romananian-born artist Leonard Ursachi, and well, here are some photos of that thought-provoking bit of art. A little side note: this sculpture was originally conceived and built by the artist in his new hometown of Brooklyn, NY. I’m grateful that he moved it here for Mother Goose to enjoy until the end of 2015.
After a thorough examination of the piece, which is constructed of wood, rope, mirrors and recycled water bottles, Mother Goose took her place on the park bench to watch the leaves fall. Little did she know that her heart was slowly leaving her feathery bosom and finding a new home amongst the trees and leaves and peace and stillness and quiet and beauty of this glorious day in the park.
As the leaves fell from the trees, Mother Goose noticed tears falling from her eyes. The beauty was overwhelming! Also, I must mention that she was reading a book by Brennan Manning, All is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir. Already the introduction was deeply affecting the soul of the goose whose heart had already abandoned her for the loveliness of the park.
Sniffing, snuffling and glancing to my left, I spotted another sculpture. I had seen it many times, but never as clearly as I saw it today. I walked over to it and saw the new sign identifying the piece as “Pillow”. Again, clearly a thought-provoking piece — I sent a picture of it to a very dear woman in my life in order to obtain her intense interpretation and revelation of the sculpture.
So now, tears on my feathers and laughter in my mouth, I returned to my bench to continue my meditation on all things Autumn, and to attempt to explain to myself why this day should stand out as a mystical turning point in my life. I frequently find myself looking up when I am searching for answers. Here’s what I saw directly above me.
Gentle winds played with the yellow leaves, chasing them like children playing tag in the park. Mother Goose said “goodbye” to them, “goodbye” to her heart, and pedaled away. Life will never be the same for the goose. Glory days gone with the wind…