November 2, 2015

...the changing light of fall

Hello, and welcome to November!  I could be a tad grumpy about today's poem and point out that the "changing light of fall" should actually be dubbed the "no light of fall" as darkness came so quickly last night due to the time change.  But I will refrain from grumpiness--it's hard enough on a Monday morning to muster enthusiasm without additional grousing about something I can't change! 

We had a lovely weekend--Phil winterized our deck and I worked on several sewing projects.  We celebrated Halloween evening in the land of Oz with our own sweet Dorothy, who caught on to the idea of trick or treating very quickly!

And to our surprise, the "cowardly lion" made an appearance at dinner time!  I'm so proud of this little cap I knit in the car during my recent trip to Indiana--isn't it sweet?

I find it hard to believe that October has already bid adieu and skipped away, leaving behind it's more somber, no-nonsense sibling, November, known for its bare trees and brown yards and early evening dusk.  I miss the bright reds and yellows and sunlight streaming through the leaves, setting the tree branches on fire.  But after I adjust to the time change I know I will also embrace this more mellow season--while October delights in dazzling displays of color, November creeps up softly and whispers "slow down.  sit by the fire and dream.  count your blessings and give thanks." 

I like this autumn poem by Edward Hirsch.  The maples in our backyard are definitely in the fall...falling...fallen phase and will soon be bereft of all their  lovely yellow leaves.  While we have definitely moved beyond "summer's sprawling past" we haven't yet been forced to greet "winter's hard revision" so hopefully we can linger awhile in this in-between land of seasons and remember all our blessings.

Fall, falling, fallen. That’s the way the season
Changes its tense in the long-haired maples
That dot the road; the veiny hand-shaped leaves
Redden on their branches (in a fiery competition
With the final remaining cardinals) and then
Begin to sidle and float through the air, at last
Settling into colorful layers carpeting the ground.
At twilight the light, too, is layered in the trees
In a season of odd, dusky congruences—a scarlet tanager
And the odor of burning leaves, a golden retriever
Loping down the center of a wide street and the sun
Setting behind smoke-filled trees in the distance,
A gap opening up in the treetops and a bruised cloud
Blamelessly filling the space with purples. Everything
Changes and moves in the split second between summer’s
Sprawling past and winter’s hard revision, one moment
Pulling out of the station according to schedule,
Another moment arriving on the next platform. It
Happens almost like clockwork: the leaves drift away
From their branches and gather slowly at our feet,
Sliding over our ankles, and the season begins moving
Around us even as its colorful weather moves us,
Even as it pulls us into its dusty, twilit pockets.
And every year there is a brief, startling moment
When we pause in the middle of a long walk home and
Suddenly feel something invisible and weightless
Touching our shoulders, sweeping down from the air:
It is the autumn wind pressing against our bodies;
It is the changing light of fall falling on us.

Happy Monday!  Please join me in being grateful and thankful for today and remember...
Today is a good day for a good day!

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