It is autumn, a time of ripened figs eaten straight from the trees or threaded on string and hung for drying. It is also the season of the almond harvest. As the husks split open to reveal the nuts, those villagers who have land are all out with sticks and nets to gather in a prodigious amount of the nuts this year. Although almond trees look so graceful they are in fact very robust and take a good beating at harvest time and vigorous pruning later in the year. Gathering in the almonds is hard work and can take a couple of weeks depending on how many you have. Not for me though, I have one almond tree in my little yard. I give it a bit of a shake and the almonds fall to the ground. I also have a couple of cats who enjoy climbing the tree and their antics amongst its branches bring down a few more. So while the rest of the village is working hard what am I doing? I am busy working with words. As the almonds of the fields are being transformed into marzipan or those delicious soplillos, meringues with chopped almonds, I am striving to transform words into poetry, or reflections on life and living. I haven’t posted here for a while, but I hope to begin again with more regularity. As life changes and the path of surrender brings its surprises, trials, and lessons I discover the need to write more poetry and poetic prose. These mediums offer a greater chance of expressing the ineffable, of grounding the celestial, and of offering a service of love. Having said that I must add that my attempts are still very much at the beginning of this path and there is a lot of work to do. I need a bit of ‘beating and pruning’ to produce the fruit, just like those almond trees. I am reminded of the sema of the Mevlani dervishes, as they whirl they hold one hand up, palm open to the heavens, and one hand down, palm open to the earth, acting like conduits for the light of Allah (swt). I believe those masters of tasawwuf, Rabi’a, Rumi, Hafiz, Yunus Emre, to name a few of those visionary poets, perform a similar function with their words. They move the soul of the reader and stir the heart. How good it would be to be just a fleck of dust in the hem of their robes and to listen as they utter their words of love.