Thursday, October 18, 2012

Autumn Earth-Dancing 2012 - Part 2

God's World
~ Edna St. Vincent Millay ~

O World, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists, that roll and rise!
Thy woods this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!

Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this:
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart, -- Lord, I do fear
Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year;
My soul is all but out of me, -- let fall
No burning leaf; prithee let no bird call.

October New Moon

~ For showing me how
to embrace the World ecstatically,
always (always) thank you, Edna ~

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Autumn Earth-Dancing 2012 - Part 1

View from my window today!
 So the Great Wheel of the Year has slowly spun its way into Autumn. As I write on this mid-October day, it is nearly a month along. Last weekend the first hard frost drew down the curtain on 2012's growing season. On Facebook that morning my friend, Lynne, posted, "It's a wrap!" The night before I bid goodbye to my faithful cherry-tomato plant with thanks for the handfulls of yummy wee tomatoes it produced. Reluctant to let all the flowers go just yet, I did bring in the two pots of white begonias and am glad to be still enjoying their frilly blooms for just a while longer.

Rising steeply above the Susquehanna River, Round Top Hill is once again a way-station for migrating birds. I feel its wooded summit sends out a beacon to these small travelers offering a safe place for them to drop down and rest. Right now dimunitive warblers are passing through delighting me with swift-winged appearances as they dart from branch to branch. Summer regulars are mostly gone but sweet memories remain.  We were doubly blessed this nesting season by two pairs of wood thrushes whose flute-songs drifted through early summer's leafy greenness. Just before Equinox, one came to the bird bath at dusk and I treasured this special last visit.

Autumn engages our senses on so many levels, refusing to be ignored. Each Fall I grumble for a time as the hours of daylight are relentlessly whittled down, especially rising early as I do and now needing to turn on a light to find my way downstairs. But then what fine compensation to open the door to let the cat out for his first prowl and be greeted by gleaming Venus and the still bright stars! And at dawn in Fall's first weeks with the River's waters cooling, gauzy mist-wraiths rise in swirling drifts above the current. It makes for a magical start to the day.

And such fine, such splendid Autumn colors this my mind, especially befitting this Year of the Dragon. There was some concern that July's extreme heat and dryness might mute the leaves this Fall, but oh! what a glorious show these past few weeks. I've been stopped in my tracks more than once by my tree neighbors brilliant hues and by countless others along roads I've traveled. (For the latter, it should be noted that I do take care to not become a driving hazard!) The view from my window this very afternoon is reasonably well-captured in the first photo....summer's flame still flickering brightly in the glowing leaves. For a time, the two seasons join their energies together in a riotous, multi-hued  shimmy.  And this year's dance is more vibrant and breath-takingly beautiful than nearly any other I can remember.

Invariably, sometime during Autumn's golden days, words of the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay cross my mind when I come upon yet another gorgeous tree. This deserves a post of its own and so I invite you to Part 2 of Autumn Earth-Dancing 2012.  (and a reminder to click on photos to view full-sized)