Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Autumn Thoughts

So I guess it's October now and maybe I should check in, hmm? It's a sad day when I'm posting so little on my blog that it's not even listed as one of the 10 most visited sites on my Google home page.

It's true, I've been busy with things that you would know about, had I been posting. But in the midst of the coming and going, I've been thoroughly enjoying autumn, a season I've lived without, and missed desperately, for our past 8 years of desert dwelling. With its constantly changing trees and bushes, autumn wakes me up to the world around me and reminds me that one day can make a difference. This past month, the mountains have come alive with color, kind of like they're giving it their all before the winter sets in, going out with flames of red, orange, and yellow. I'd forgotten how beautiful and how all-encompassing it is.

Yet even as the trees and bushes are having their last hurrah and dropping their leaves in preparation of the coming winter, I love that autumn is the time to plant bulbs for the spring. Yes, we know winter is coming. But we plant the bulbs because we're confident that spring will follow. So in the past few weeks when I haven't been posting, I've been busy, yes, but I've been enjoying my days, surrounded by the beauty of this place and the hope that comes with the changing seasons.

A few Sundays ago when Vickie was here visiting, we drove up into the canyon and packed a picnic dinner to eat at Cascade Springs (where, we discovered, there was "no picnicking" and where it was probably 50 degrees). But neither one stopped us :)

 We also did a short mile hike when Tommy and Laura were here visiting.

And, of course, the changing colors around me makes watching football and soccer games so much better, even though my camera doesn't capture the beauty of these mountains.
I just found this poem called "Leaves" by Lloyd Schwartz that I think expresses this hope that comes with autumn and the significance of witnessing the changing of the leaves.

Poem of the Month:


by Lloyd Schwartz


Every October it becomes important, no, necessary
to see the leaves turning, to be surrounded
by leaves turning; it's not just the symbolism,
to confront in the death of the year your death,
one blazing farewell appearance, though the irony 
isn't lost on you that nature is most seductive
when it's about to die, flaunting the dazzle of its 
incipient exit, an ending that at least so far 
the effects of human progress (pollution, acid rain)
have not yet frightened you enough to make you believe
is real; that is, you know this ending is a deception
because of course nature is always renewing itself—
        the trees don't die, they just pretend,
        go out in style, and return in style: a new style.


Is it deliberate how far they make you go
especially if you live in the city to get far 
enough away from home to see not just trees 
but only trees? The boring highways, roadsigns, high 
speeds, 10-axle trucks passing you as if they were 
in an even greater hurry than you to look at leaves:
so you drive in terror for literal hours and it looks 
like rain, or snow, but it's probably just clouds
(too cloudy to see any color?) and you wonder, 
given the poverty of your memory, which road had the 
most color last year, but it doesn't matter since 
you're probably too late anyway, or too early—
        whichever road you take will be the wrong one
        and you've probably come all this way for nothing.


You'll be driving along depressed when suddenly
a cloud will move and the sun will muscle through
and ignite the hills. It may not last. Probably
won't last. But for a moment the whole world
comes to. Wakes up. Proves it lives. It lives—
red, yellow, orange, brown, russet, ocher, vermilion,
gold. Flame and rust. Flame and rust, the permutations
of burning. You're on fire. Your eyes are on fire.
It won't last, you don't want it to last. You 
can't stand any more. But you don't want it to stop. 
It's what you've come for. It's what you'll
come back for. It won't stay with you, but you'll 
        remember that it felt like nothing else you've felt
        or something you've felt that also didn't last.

Copyright © 1992 by Lloyd Schwartz. From Goodnight, Gracie (The University of Chicago Press, 1992).
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1 comment:

mwells said...

I am so glad you are enjoying the fall season. I've been in the desert for almost 20 years now and I still miss the changing season's, every year! Your pictures are great!