'Autumn's Gift' by Leigh Bunkin


Summer has moved to the lower side of the world. As the morning sun rises in the desert, Autumn arrives on a west wind and sits before an empty tapestry loom that Summer has left her. She watches the desert come alive through the bare bones of the frame.
After a time of observation, she begins to weave. She pulls the warp from filaments of sun streaming through an azure blue sky. Nimble fingers fasten the warm golden strands securely to the frame. She weaves the land from dusty fibers of sand, dirt, and dust. The gray of rocks; a pebbled ground. Over the next month she watches and captures: the sly movement of lizards, the strength of jackrabbits, the howl of coyotes, and the tawny brown of a mountain lion’s pelt. In the midst of the animals she weaves the stiffness of the unbending grass, the protection of the prickly cactus, the nourishment of the plants, the dance of the tumbleweeds scuttling across the desert floor. When the landscape is complete she removes the tapestry from the frame.
The following month she strings the next warp from filaments of spiders’ webs. In its threads are secured: the openness of the birds and the freedom of their wings, the strength and cunning of insects and spiders, the secrets and pleasures of desert breezes.
In the final month of her desert sojourn she weaves the next panel on a warp of fibers spun from low lying clouds. In this Autumn catches: the warmth of the sun, the persistence of rain, the wisdom of the moon and the peaceful solitude of night.
When she is done, she sews the sections into a hooded cape with threads of moonlight. It is time for her to move on. She hangs the coat in a Joshua tree for Winter who is coming soon.
Winter arrives on the chilly gust of a north wind. She slips into her gift from Autumn, snuggling in its comforting depths. She sits beside the empty frame of the loom and contemplates the life that lives beyond its boundaries.

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