Friday, November 04, 2016

To Autumn

It has been a gorgeous autumn here. Unusually mild weather, with winds low, so that the lush palette of leaves has not been swept prematurely away. It's been a busy autumn, too. October gave us a trip to Michigan for a family wedding, a weekend away for Atticus and me, spent with old friends, glittering gems in the landscape of our lives. October gave us the 23rd birthday of my eldest daughter, and sadly -- but then happily, for she is doing very well -- a sudden surgery for my mother, her second double bypass operation. (She is home now, and recovering beautifully, I'm delighted to say.)

Ah, "Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness," just as you "load and bless with fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run" you load and bless my life.

Ramona and I talked yesterday about this weather, this extended warmth, the golden trees. I said, "I know that in a week or two we could have snow on the ground and only ten degrees," I complained. She philosophically reminded me to embrace what I have in the moment. "Just enjoy this warmth, and when it gets cold, enjoy that. Sweaters, and boots, and candles. Hygge," she said.

"Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?" writes Keats. "Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, --"

Oh, yes. Thanks to Ramona and John Keats for reminding me to seize the day and relax into the music of the beauty of the moment.

To Autumn
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,
Drowsed 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 cider-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 redbreast whistles from a garden-croft,
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.


Photo courtesy of FreeImages. 


Tabatha said...

What fantastic word choices here -- so many luscious verbs and adjectives! Happy sigh.

tanita✿davis said...

That Ramona. She's a keeper.
I think "hygge" is a lifestyle I need to embrace!
*goes to drape fleece wrap over her shoulders*

Jane @ said...

Oh how I wish we'd had a fall like that - we had the rainiest October in history this year, so I am living vicariously through everyone's beautiful autumn photos and stunning fall poems.

Violet Nesdoly said...

I too need to remember the advice of philosophical Ramona when the complaining starts in my head...or gets further. Lovely post.

Brenda Harsham said...

Keats lived in a different world. These days all the sheep around me are in theme-park-like tourist-farms, and apples are available year round. How amazing fall must have been when it was the only time for fresh apples off the tree.

laurasalas said...

Keats' words are luscious. Thank you for sharing, Karen. We are having a ridiculously beautiful and extended fall, as well. It's in the 60s and intensely sunny. There are still flowers blooming in some spots. It's November! In Minnesota! I'm enjoying it but also feeling like the seasons are out of whack.

Ruth said...

My daughter sends me photos of fall from Chicago, and several of the folders have been called "Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness." This is a favorite poem! Thanks!

Mary Lee said...

Great reminder to stay present in the moment.

ellie said...

Glad to hear your mother is doing well!