Thoughts on a Crisp Autumn Day

Today, the prevailing morning light is grey and gold, and the rain has softened the ground enough to plant the four fruit trees I bought because they were at TSC on sale for almost nothing and because I didn’t have enough to do already, I was so excited!

Three different apples than what I have in the orchard and one pear. Here’s the calculation: ‘I’ will be gone by the time they bear fruit, so who will tend them? Who will eat the apples and the pears? I don’t care. There’s no reason to.

There’s no reason to think about that stuff. One must plant beautiful baby trees that will grow food for the birds, deer, possums, turtles, wild turkeys, and my friends who come to this place where I was, where we were happy together.

So we do it, those of us consumed by life.

From my bed, when I wake, I see the hills burning with color this year of loss and suffering distant and nearby, and when I walk later, high up on the rough paths, I am comforted that I need to do nothing except be there with the two black dogs and a thousand trees.

When we come back down, there are sheds to tidy, tools to clean, and oil and put up. I went through all the bee supers and restacked them, remembering husband # 5 and how I started in bees because of him and his friend in Georgia, who sold us his five hives. We did it in the middle of the night, a dark drive for hours. Unloaded them in the field and began.

I became a beekeeper, a not good one, but they are more powerful than my incompetence. As are most things.

I am resigned and grateful that I am relieved of being important or the need to be important. It is extremely fine to be able to disappear into everything I touch and plant and walk through and sing and love, to get emptied and become part of what matters more than I do.

For today, at least, it is the sleeping dogs, the little fruit trees in their pots, and the bees.


  • Renee Armand

    Singer, songwriter, and poet Renee Armand, born in Los Angeles, was discovered by Tony Bennett in her twenties and now lives on a 19th-century working farm outside Nashville. She spent years touring the world with John Denver, has released four albums, and sang the Oscar-winning song "The Morning After."

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