Patrick McDonnell, Mutts (September 22, 2014)

Charles Schulz, Peanuts (October 6, 2014)


Ginkgo Biloba

Red Oak

White Oak


White Ash

Autumn Leaves

Vivaldi's music, Brueghel's painting, Keats' "Ode"
celebrating Autumn— and now the comics
are doing it too. The terrier Earl in Mutts
sits beneath a tree watching a leaf falling

with a quote from Emily Brontë's poem—
"Every leaf speaks bliss to me
fluttering from the autumn tree."

Two weeks later in Peanuts, another leaf

is falling with the beagle Snoopy leaping
in delight: "Thank you for the dance!"
Autumn is the harvest season, a time
of gratitude for nature's abundant gifts.

In the Bhagavad Gita 9:26, Krishna says:
"He who offers to me with devotion
only a leaf— this I accept because
with a pure heart, it was offered with love."

So I gathered leaves in a plastic pumpkin—
five-lobed red, orange, yellow Sugar Maples,
green heart-shaped Redbuds, fan-shaped Ginkgos,
bristle-tipped Red Oak & round-lobed White Oak,

crescent-shaped Eucalyptus, oval-shaped Ash,
bell-shaped Elms, lance-shaped Weeping Willows,
star-shaped Sweet Gums, giant-lobed Sycamores—
over a hundred leaves for the Great Pumpkin.

Seeing Snoopy dancing and Earl sitting still
conjured up the Mundaka Upanishad 3:1—
"There are two birds dwelling on the same tree,
one eats fruits thereof, the other looks in silence."

symbol of the active and contemplative life
practiced by the Irish sage Terence Gray with
pseudonym Wei Wu Wei— "Action, Non-action"
growing wine grapes while writing 8 Zen classics

on awakened awareness and "Know Thyself",
living a simple life of timeless balance—
This is what Autumn Equinox teaches us
with equanimity of darkness and light.

            Peter Y. Chou
            Mountain View, 10-14-2014

Sugar Maple


Weeping Willow

Sweet Gum