Saturday, October 01, 2011

Softly, softly...



Rain is falling, falling, dripping from the tired green September leaves, sliding like tears down the window panes, denting the steely surface of the mill pond. The sky is leached of color, as gray as the gray geese that wing through the rain, calling, calling as they settle on the pond. Here and there I spot a scarlet leaf, or a yellow one, harbingers of the changing season. The air, though damp, is cool rather than muggy. The small lamp on my desk casts a cheery glow; the rest of the cottage is gloomy and chill.

Summer has been loathe to leave but at its heels the autumn winds are nipping, shaking dry leaves from the trees and herding chilly morning mists across the water. Soon it will be sweater weather. Apples and pumpkins are ripening, purple asters replace pink roses, and all along the roadsides the green grasses are turning a soft brown. Acorns are dropping and squirrels are in overdrive, storing and hoarding supplies for the coming cold.

The songbirds are gone for the most part. There are some finches left, and dozens of little sparrows, chickadees, and nuthatches that winter over. The cardinal remains, too, but does not sing in the mornings the way it did in summer. Mornings belong to the crows now, and the strident bluejay. The days grow short; darkness comes sooner and stays longer. The Harvest Moon, the last full moon of summer and an ancient time signal for the harvesting of corn, rode the sky early in September. The next full moon, the Hunter's Moon will appear on October 10th.

The signs of change are all around me. But in the seeds of the lilac, the bulbs of the daffodil, the buds that replace the fallen leaves, lies spring and a new year. Change, then, is ever present. It's just on a slower timetable than we humans have accustomed ourselves to. Today I will slow down, too. I will not count the hours so that instead of hurrying by they will slowly melt into one another and I will melt into the day.






18 comments:

Judith said...

I knew that if anyone could reconcile me to the rain and wind and the coming of winter, it would be you, Pauline.
Thank you for placing it in its proper place and perspective, and reminding me of its promise, already there, of spring returning.

Marion said...

Here, the leaves have turned, frost has arrived; the flowers that braved the cold mornings have deepened in colour. Against the yellows and oranges of tree leaves, the deep glowing red of the geraniums are unearthly.

I welcome Autumn, most years. I am ready, then, to bundle up by the fire and write or draw. It is when I re-visit old hobbies, projects still to be completed. And Fall is fleeting here...Winter will settle in soon for the next seven months...the longing for Spring at the end of those months is indescribable!

This post leads me into accepting that Fall is indeed here, no matter that it is just beginning elsewhere. I keep trying to convince myself it is still late summer, just because I am accustomed to thinking that way..

Beautiful, warming words, Pauline, as always! xx

Brian Miller said...

it is finally dry here...nice and cool...54 degrees at the soccer game this morning...trees are really starting to change...enjoy the rain while you can get it...many are missing it right now...

Tabor said...

Colder today and finally no more rain. But gray and like your lovely words of fall.

Friko said...

We are further into the year's journey than you. Autumn is here but is graciously allowing us a few warm days, the first decent ones since May.

I too wish we lived a little closer to each other, we could look out on the soft landscape outside your window together.

Kerry said...

I love autumn, sweater weather, the rain, and even the leached skies.

steven said...

pauline thanks for this super-fine and beautiful writing! you drew together everything i'm feeling and seeing here. i find that kind of exciting. i love the autumn! steven

Pauline said...

J - I remembering learning long ago that trees and flowering bushes set their new leaf buds before winter. I was so heartened that I never minded winter's coming again!

Marion - late summer is usually hard to let go of as it's made of such beautiful weather. This year though, ours was issued in with a hurricane and an earthquake. We had some unusually hot and muggy days since and now it's turned cooler. I love sweater weather!

Brian M - this was a year of too much, too little and too late! Wonder if it was a trend-setting year, weather wise?

Tabor - that gray can be so heavy, can't it? Even when the rain doesn't fall...

Friko - I love reading at your blog because you are so descriptive and so darn funny. Good thing we have blogs so we can communicate that way!

Kerry - me, too! There isn't a season I don't like :)

Out on the prairie said...

I sit here in asweater, lots of color changes around. Lovely thoughts to share from you.

Barbara Shallue said...

Your words paint such a lovely image - I hope I can slow down soon myself!

Reya Mellicker said...

This is so beautiful, Pauline, the words and the ideas behind the words. So glad you slowed down for at least one day. Ahhhhhhh

JeannetteLS said...

This is the season I slow down to look, to smell, to breathe. Everything feels crisp, the air smells different, and I know the Northeast is preparing for the sleeping phase. I do most of my work in fall and winter. I don't know why this is--I wake up in the season when so much seems to sleep.

Beautiful entry.

Pauline said...

Thanks, OOTP. We'll be able to take our sweaters off again over the weekend. Temps are due to soar close to 80!

Thanks, Barbara S - I only accomplished it for that one day :(

Reya - it was definitely an ahhhhhhhhhh day!

Jeannette - I spent a part of my slow day sleeping - outside on my lawn swing :)

Molly said...

Oh, it sounds lovely to me. I think Fall and Spring are when I most miss living in a "normal" climate! But even here, there is a delicious coolness, just a hint, these recent evenings and mornings too.
Thank you for suggesting me to Hillary for a POTW. Nothing like an unexpected vote of confidence when you're at your lowest ebb! I had no idea until a new [to me] person made a comment and added "congratulations on your potw." My what?? It took me a while but [Sherlock Holmes is one of my ancestors!] I figured it out! Thanks Pauline!

Barbara said...

Even though summer if fading fast, I now know enough to look forward to your posts about the first snow and then once again the return of the birds and the flowers. The cycle of nature is so powerful and reaffirming.

red dirt girl said...

I will not count the hours so that instead of hurrying by they will slowly melt into one another and I will melt into the day.

Gorgeous image, Pauline!
xxx

Roberta S said...

Amid the somberness of the chill air, approaching winter, and molding leaves, thank you for reminding me that little treasures, i.e. lilac seeds, buds, and daffodils, are hiding away for the ressurection of new life in a few months. Lovely piece of writ especially your melting point.

Pauline said...

ah Molly - that was one of the funniest things I've read in a long time. It deserved to be read by a wider audience!

Barbara - I like that you look forward to those posts! Thanks :)

RDG - that intended slowing down works magic!

Hello Roberta! And thanks :)