Friday, October 12, 2012

October's Blue and Gold

For the past few days, the weather here in the Shire
has been damp, misty, rainy, gray, and chilly.
To my mind, more like a day in November than one in October.
The kind of day Dylan Thomas alluded to in his "Poem in October"
in which he wrote:

And I rose in rainy autumn
And walked abroad in a shower of all my days ...

But yesterday morning the cloudy, overcast weather drifted offshore,
leaving us with the kind of  weather everyone in Tidewater waits for.
It's just one of many from our cornucopia of autumn delights.
In early October in the Shire,
summer's habitual haze gives way to clear blue skies,
a gentle warming sun, 
and a hint of ocher in the first turning leaves ...

The smell of wood smoke drifts through the evening air
as fireplaces are lit to ward off the chill of longer nights.
Front doors are decorated with harvest wreaths of  red and gold.
And big orange pumpkins surrounded by baskets of red, yellow
 or violet chrysanthemums appear on front porches overnight. 

And yet, as nice as our Octobers are, 
I'm relieved that summer doesn't go away so quickly. 
Impatiens and vinca periwinkle bloom on. 
 I noticed white blossoms on my strawberry plants--
a last burst of summery enthusiasm.
I appreciate their optimism.
Begonias are still going strong as are ferns and asters and herbs.
And they will continue for weeks more because here first frost comes very late.
We get to enjoy a little summer along with our autumn.
That's October's blue and gold.

Nathaniel Hawthorne once wrote:

there is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on,
and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings as now in October.

October resides at the nexus of summer and fall
and brings the best of both seasons.

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