Yesterday afternoon, snow had dusted the higher ridges of nearby peaks that had not been blanketed since mid-June. Lolo Peak, the most prominent mountain to Missoula’s southwest, was shrouded by swirling clouds that took the better part of the day to reach and release some of their moisture on the city. Still only rain in town, but the snow line’s slowly marching down toward the valley floor. Winter’s coming.
Over the weekend I facilitated a workshop for an area non-profit that uses the arts and nature to support healing, primarily serving people facing illness or loss. The focus was on autumn and exploring the changes of the season, using haiku as a collective entry point. From there we departed in different artistic directions, after spending time in a small park observing nature’s fall colors, changes and lessons.
The results were as diverse and individual as Nature’s creations. Some folks crafted artwork using leaves, pine cones and seedpods, while others cast off and transformed the confines of haiku into more expansive poetry and prose to accompany their art.
Earlier in the workshop, I spontaneously suggested taking one line from a haiku poem we had each written about a natural object and then create a group poem.
We wrote our lines down on pieces of paper, placed them in a bowl, then randomly drew the lines to create a larger, collective work. It’s fun to read what we came up with in reverse as well!
Holds Brittle Against the Wind
Patterns Bring Discipline
Green and Yellow Swirling Near
Please Linger, Autumn.