I cherish the loneliness of autumn; I am forty, I have become mortal.


Hello and good Tuesday to you. How’s it going in your world? Mine you ask? well…I am approaching my birthday. I will be 45 this year, in fact in a few days from now. I am enjoying becoming an older person, I am sure it’s got a lot to do with my recent cancer free status,  facing my mortality and all that jazz…but it’s also got a  lot to do with finally being comfortable in my own skin and being keenly aware that everything is so very fleeting, on so many levels. Living like its my last ten minutes and learning not to complain have been great gifts this past year. Fall brings reflection…it’s been a crazy year…most delightfully crazy year ever. Never easy, the struggle to maintain equilibrium produces growth. I’m owning this shit, yup that’s right.

Watch me now.

I offer you today for the art, not my own work. I submit, for your enjoyment, my loving husbands poetry. We have a habit of writing to each other, regularly, and we use poetry to talk to each other. It’s something that started when we were just kids, in job corps together, in Astoria Oregon in the 80’s.  He was the smart, hard working, mush respected, top dog in our vocation. I was the smart and ambitious, wanting to be top dog,  competitor. He and I worked hard, trying to make something of ourselves, being that we were coming from the school of hard knocks and mean streets. We would steal away, when no one was looking, and write poetry. We would write at night in our dorms and try to out do each other with prose. It was a special time in our lives. He was and still is my friend that “gets” me and I him. So, 26 years later, when we re-found each other, in different lives and worlds…we began the conversation in the familiar way. We wrote/texted poetry. We did this for the many months before I was able to travel cross country to join him and we continue today. It’s a private continuation of a conversation that is ever expanding and quietly exploratory. We write about daily issues and feeling and insights and secret worries. We write about healing and spirituality and philosophy. We write about love and we write about fear. We write. It’s elemental to who we are in this life. It’s a freedom that we choose. He gave me permission to share the conversation we are having, I hope you enjoy. Have a wonderful day.


September 4, 2014

Reaching deeply inside,

tenacity, perseverance,

a daily summons to carry on,

There is only to be.

Any less is a failure,

but to acknowledge the bounty,

that is the gift of struggle.

Support, empathy, love

enable the strength

required of such a humbling task.

Together, to be,

is enough for me.

WA! (c) 2014

The quote from the title, in it’s entirety:

“I cherish the loneliness of autumn…. I am forty, I have become mortal. I have no further psychic, emotional, or intellectual need to prolong summer seasons, and it is only when autumn begins its play that I can truly focus on the rich and vital life I am living. All of a sudden I grow alert. October is a hallelujah! reverberating in my body year-round…. The air is dusty, it smells of dry pine needles; yet I sense imminent ice in the clear blue sky…. How I appreciate everything… fully! After all, tomorrow this reprieve will be buried by blizzards, crushed under slabs of doomsday ice. I cannot waste a minute indoors! I must take advantage of this gift, wedged so tentatively between summer’s hectic somnolence and winter’s harsh apogee…. Each perfect day, I know, is going to be the last beautiful day of autumn.” ~John Nichols, The Last Beautiful Days of Autumn





  1. fredliness
    September 23, 2014

    This whole article is beautiful! You both are so right for each other, that I can see now thru your writings. Great Job Heather Alley! And great job to your husband too for being that bright light also, for you and himself.

    I had not realized you two had known each other for so long or more like, my memory isn’t what it used to be for me to remember such. Either way, you guys will be great together for a very long time.

    I also love the quote from John Nichols, “The Last Beautiful Days of Autumn” I can smell all of what he talks about with the added smell of wetness from all of the rain this year. The ground is even still deeply wet from it all. Spring and fall are my favorite of the seasons. I still can’t make up my mind which I like more but it doesn’t matter because I love that my state and many others have the fortune to see and feel all four seasons on this beautiful planet.

    I think you’re a great writer, and will enjoy reading more of your future stories and paintings! Much love, Fred

    1. HA!
      September 26, 2014

      Thank you Fred, I am so glad you are enjoying the ride. 🙂 HA!


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