Friday, September 19, 2008

To Autumn

The light is starting to change. A few more gray days have crept into the daily routine. I sat outside the other night and wish'd for another layer. The tips of tree leaves are starting their beautiful dying process. In this season where death and disintegration is a rainbow of beautiful, I also watch things disintegrate in my life, big and small. I do not see the beauty yet, but perhaps it is apt that fall should join me in this journey and teach me how to glory in slow, beautiful death. Because, after all, the sacrifice these leaves are making is only so the glory of spring's life will be that much greater. I don't want to rush past fall and winter for that glory just yet, I will sit in the sad, crisp reality of the 'ber months. I will heed the dying process, but also heed the life that sneaks between, like apples, firepits, soup and the yellow light. Here's Keat's Ode to this beloved season.

To Autumn - by John Keats

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, -
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skie


Matt said...

Thanks for posting, Katie, good stuff. The changing of seasons is always new and at the same time comfortably familiar. CS Lewis said: "He gives them the seasons, each season different yet every year the same, so that spring is always felt as a novelty yet always as the recurrence of an immemorial theme."

I think with every season we are inspired by the newness to remember the past, but none more so, in my mind, than Autumn. For some reason, it fosters reminiscence.

I hope you find the beauty, it's most certainly there amid the leaves.

My best to you and Jeff.

Katie W. said...

Great thoughts Matt. Love that Lewis quote, too. thanks!