It is now October, and the arc of the sun’s light has slowly begun shifting, the days are growing shorter in the North, where I live above the 61st parallel. The mornings present a biting chill and the bitter-cloying scent of decay. Birch and poplar leaves sift onto the forest floor, the roads and even the hoods of the vehicles. At this juncture, it is tempting to want to linger in the amber splendor, or to send a yearning glance back at summer’s infusion of chlorophyll.
And yet again, perhaps it is time take stock of the stores at hand: to sort over the harvest, to perform an accounting of where I am along the path. I seize a calendar to assist in this task.
Among the commemorations of October 9 include World Post Day, Leif Erikson Day, the Takayama Autumn Festival and Independence Day in Uganda. South Korea marks the day with a celebration of the 566th anniversary of the creation of the creation of the Korean alphabet, by King Sejong the Great. This holiday is known as Hangul Day (한글날). It is also the feast-day of the mysterious Dionysius the Areopagite.
In my house, on this day, I am drawn to ponder and remember the words of a writer I became acquainted with while still practically a child: Iulia de Beausobre. Iulia was the wife of a Russian aristocrat who survived years of imprisonment and ordeals in Stalin’s concentration camps before immigrating to England. When my worries overcome me, when obstacles appear insurmountable, I remember Iulia. My invisible mentor’s writing left such an imprint on me, there have actually been times I have looked for her, imagined her silhouette standing in the shadows, watching over me during my darkest days. In turn, it is as if I sense her thoughts and yearnings, during the time of her greatest anguish, while she was incarcerated, when she had a vision she later described thusly:
“Then came a Voice:
Out of the confines of eternity I flew to humanity as light.
From person to person I flow as warmth.
When the great sun rises in the heart of humanity,
I flow back to the limits of eternity as love.
I am the pivot of the human world.
I am eternity.
My breath is Peace.
Seek in the miracle of warmth
flowing from harrowed person to harrowed person.
Seek and you will find me.”
–Iulia de Beausobre, from The Woman Who Could Not Die