Behold the leaves multicolored in the October sun. The sky is hazy and beyond the horizon there dwells rain, that three day drizzle that an east wind blows in this time year. Cool, damp, grey days that precede the coming of winter are to be our lot for another month, except for intervals of Indian summer when the warmth and bright blue skies makes us doubt that we are so near to snow and freezing temperatures.
It is a melancholy time, though not unpleasant. With every gust of wind the leaves fall like rain. It is an act of nature that occurs without much fanfare as the green gives up the ghost in favor of the brown.
Fall's flowers, the goldenrods flamed before me in the pasture. The sky a deep blue and the beauty of those flowers did belie the time of year. It seemed like summer bright and green, but the falling leaves and the shortness of the days proved it was summer past.
A golden time of the year is fall as there is the golden grain, the golden leaves, and the golden flowers like the goldenrods. Fall is the maturing of plants, the going through the fire and coming out as pure as gold. The world is mellowed in that eternal cycle of bud, blossom, and then the fruit. The goldenrods waved at me in the wind, a whole troupe of them did wave, and I felt blessed at that moment.
When The Music Stops
Soon the music will stop, 'tis autumn now. A chill is in the air, but they still sing. Crickets, tree frogs, and katydids still sing the night away. Loudly they sing, happily they sing, but soon it all will end. Still they sing! They meet death as they met life, with exuberance and with jubilance.
I wonder if I will meet death so well. Retaining such faith and happiness throughout the years is not so easy. The autumn of life often finds people distressed and lonely. Listening to the insects and tree frogs tonight I sense their wonderful acceptance of fate.
The Crisis Of Seasons
A crisis in the affairs of plants, insects, and animals occurs every fall as some hibernate and others die. The leaf changes colors, then falls, and the earth regains what it begat. As we watch this process we feel a certain regret, though not despair, for instinctively we sense this is not the end.
It is only another step in existence. The cold and dark of winter merely checks life for a season as it is only a time of change, a time of rest. When spring comes all will be renewed, and will return to life with new vigor after the months of repose. Looking at fall in this manner lessens the shock of it's transformation, and we are able to enjoy the season as a necessary part of the glorious whole.
The North Wind
Life teems all summer long and bathes in warmth, but fall slows the process. Gradually the cold slows the sap. The aging of the year sends the leaves to the ground, the woodchucks to the hole, and the birds south. The frost hovers on the plants and blades of grass and brings death with it's caress. The leaves feel the icy fingers of the frost, and like the pincers of a crab it severs the leaves one by one. The morning air is chilly, crisp, and clear, and the days are still with occasional chill laden breezes.
The cold comes out of the north wailing, and it sounds like a death dirge. I wonder to myself, do the trees and flowers know? Do they know like the birds that have flown south, that winter is nigh? It is like a funeral hymn, the sound of that wind swaying the half bare trees, and sending the remnant of their leaves to the ground.
The grass is icy cold to the touch, and though green it has the feel of death. How grey and somber the sky appears in the waning light. I cry deep inside myself to think that another summer has past, and I must spend another long, cold winter alone comforted only by thoughts of spring.
Bleakness met my eyes in the landscape. A tree not yet bereft of all it's foliage, green mixed with vivid yellow and cold, stood out in glittering array. Behind it stood the hill, dark and lonely, and the trees stark and bare, while above reigned the gray evening sky, and at my feet lie the bright green grass. I was witnessing the end of a season, and the feeling it gave me was not unlike witnessing the end of a life. As flowers adorn the casket of a corpse there was some beauty in that sadness.
The Sad November
The sad November has come round again. The evening curtain drops quickly now. The nights are chilled, and many of the days are cold and gray. The stars twinkle so lonely in the night, unlike in summer when they seem nestled in the warm companionship of each other's light. In the cold darkness of the November night they look so isolated.
The trees have lost the comfort of their blanket of leaves, and are forced to face the cruel icy wind unprotected. A kind summer season filled with warmth and sunshine and warm showers has been their preparation for nature's severity. For some no buds may appear in spring. Especially those with a weakness does the cold wind seek out and destroy.
There is in winter a solemnity of forms that pervades every aspect of our thoughts. There is nothing superflous in the landscape as the winter scene is free of all accoutrements and adornments. Winter is very basic.
Winter is a season when ornamentation and ostentation is done away, and what is left is the original outline, the bare essence. Winter reveals the true essence of that upon which all the frills of summer are placed. Whereas summer puts on a lavish and multifarious outfit, winter is stark reality.
I step out on the frozen turf and the cold grips me like a vise. The ground is frozen like concrete as the pliable clay of summer has turned into a solid rock hard material. The rocks and pebbles are encrusted in the frozen earth so that even the most vigorous kicking cannot dislodge them.
All water is turned to ice except that in a swiftly moving stream which is invaded by the ever creeping ice along both sides. The sky is a cold icy blue, and even the sun appears like a distant sparkling icicle. All around is conquered by the cold and ice. Had I just viewed the world for the first time today, I would conclude it to be a frozen wasteland.
The Lonely Winter Moon
Sometimes I feel like the lonely winter moon staring down on snow covered hills. The moon looks so lonely and silent. It is a beautiful sight though to look outside on a cold winter night when the ground is covered with snow and a bright moon is shining down. The snow glistens in the soft moonlight and it seems almost like daylight.
The stars look so bright, and you get the feeling you could almost reach up and touch them. It seems so heavenlike, as if the world and the heavens were one and everything is so clear, so understandable.
The silence is what stands out. As one steps out the sound of one's own footsteps in the snow sounds so loud. As one stops to listen there is no other sound as even the wind is silent and everything seems under some heavenly spell.
Of all the marvels of nature, snow is supreme. Snow makes the world a fantasyland, it makes the countryside a wonderland. It can be cold and forbidding at times, yet it makes our hearts warm with its beauty. Who can fail to be awed by the attraction of a scene of hills and valleys covered with snow. Snow makes the world seem like a fantasy land, and we feel amidst its charm a part of some fairy tale.
As children we revelled in the snow. It made our backyard a playpen and when we were a child we were jubilant when it fell. It was a time to try out our new sled or to build a snowman.
The snow awakens our imagination and invites us to journey into its dreamland. On moonlit nights one of the rare joys of life is beholding the snow covered landscape beneath those bright stars. All is so unreal when the snow graces our land. It seems like we have almost been transported to another planet.
Especially the first snow of the season is awe inspiring. When there is a blizzard outside we are thankful to be inside near a warm fire, and perhaps that is another blessing of the snow, it draws us closer together. Among our fondest memories are as a child hearing the cold winter wind whipping outside on a snowy night while we were warm and snug in bed.