The sun touched the far horizon and it was the start of the hazy season, of clouds pulled into beautiful ribbons of gold and orange against the deepest, bluest sky of the year, when the wind whipped the low trees nearly flat against the brush and the landscape sang in a soaring symphony as the hollow ends of the dried stalks of songweed started to harmonize in the onslaught. In the deep channels of the equatorial cities that rose in labyrinthine ceramic mounds from the deep woods, the people carried on, trudging from place to place wreathed in the soundtrack of the coming harvest season.

In the trees, tight seed heads like jagged crowns of hard, dark wood caught the wind, and wobbled in the turbulence until their outer layers peeled off in layer after layer to reveal tufts of fine grey fluff, each tied with a tracery of lavender veins to a tiny seed. One after another, the wind took the tufts aloft, and the sky over the forest was thick with clouds of seeds riding the north wind.

A potter worked at the well-worn wooden bench in the open atrium of her home, pausing to watch the surging flow of seeds overhead in the fading twilight with a perfect sensation of nonresistance that came to her when the clay was cooperating and her inner vision was clear and open. A bit of fluff, caught in an eddy, floated down and landed on the bench, its woolly tuft lit in the sparklight that hung over the bench. The potter carefully wiped herself clean of clay, picked up the seed, told it her truth, and blew it upward, back into the streaming exodus migration going on overhead.

© 2019 Joe Belknap Wall