When the Universe Winks


I was up early to hit the swimming pool; I am trying to get back in the groove.  5:30 a.m. had come quickly and I was grumpy. There are rewards for effort, although virtue is what she is, and as I drove to the pool, the universe winked at me.

Thank heavens for that! A wink from the universe is not a big existential moment but it has something to do with action. An action towards a good end or simple fun seems to be the context although the universe has winked at me in droll, tired irony that wasn’t exactly happy. So maybe a wink is meant to inspire an action that is necessary.

Maybe you have your own name for it: a magic moment, karma, congruence? All that happened to me was that I stopped at the stop sign and saw the Big Dipper standing on its ear at 5:30 in the morning, its handle nearly perpendicular to the horizon. You don’t see that every day, although apparently it happens every day. But I was up at a different hour, doing a different thing, pushing myself into a different zone and the universe winked at me.

And so I gratefully reneged the dead weight of my assumptions. All summer, I saw the dipper resting like a string of diamonds across the blue horizon’s neckline and here it was doing something else and so was I.

What a summer! It was so beautiful and bountiful I still don’t want to let it go. I can’t remember when the fruit was bigger or more sweet. All the flora was bit by Whidbey Island’s version of gigantism. All things green and blue, from earth to sky, every single shade of neon green, to dusky dark avocado, from pink-blue dawns, high-noon blue punctuated by Robin’s eggs and green sea turned aqua, stiff with the blue wind of clear skies.

And now the Big Dipper is on its ear and a chill in the air. It is here, fall, and the blue and green has been washed away, running for the roots and leaving the leafy red and gold, or hiding behind wooly gray clouds for the duration. Everything fading to the color of earth, veins of gold in warty clumps of dirt, the insides and the outsides of squash and pumpkins, big kid-sized seeds that will make it through the vagaries of winter with their newness well-protected and ready.

It’s a time of year when I need the kind of hope a wink from the universe gives me. That secret, intimate, fleeting wink that acknowledged how is beautiful life is, including what I think I know and certainly what I don’t know. The Chinese cosmology of Nature believes that autumn is a time to face westward, the direction of dreams and vision but to also acknowledge the season’s sadness and necessary courage.

I want new things in the dying season. New in the old, hope in the dull dirt; I am looking for a wink.


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