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October Thoughts

Oct 16, 2020

October oak leaves -
"In the garden, Autumn is, indeed the crowning glory of the year, bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil. And at no season, safe perhaps in Daffodil time, do we get such superb colour effects as from August to November."
-   Rose G. Kingsley, The Autumn Garden
"I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand, shadowless like Silence, listening
To Silence."
-   Thomas Hood
“He is outside of everything, and alien everywhere. He is an aesthetic solitary. His beautiful, light imagination is the wing that on the autumn evening just brushes the dusky window.”
-   Henry James  
"I have come to a still, but not a deep center,
A point outside the glittering current;
My eyes stare at the bottom of a river,
At the irregular stones, iridescent sandgrains,
My mind moves in more than one place,
In a country half-land, half-water.
I am renewed by death, thought of my death,
The dry scent of a dying garden in September,
The wind fanning the ash of a low fire.
What I love is near at hand,
Always, in earth and air."
-  Theodore Roethke, The Far Field    
"Corn and grain, corn and grain,
All that falls shall rise again."
-  Wiccan Harvest Chant
"Just before the death of flowers,
And before they are buried in snow,
There comes a festival season
When nature is all aglow."
-   Author Unknown
"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."
-  Nathaniel Hawthorne
"Spring comes with flowers, autumn with the moon, summer with the breeze, winter with snow.  When idle concerns don't fill your thoughts, that's your best season."
-   Wu-Men
"A child looking at ruins grows younger but cold
and wants to wake to a new name
I have been younger in October
than in all the months of spring
walnut and may leaves the color
of shoulders at the end of summer
a month that has been to the mountain
and become light there
the long grass lies pointing uphill
even in death for a reason
that none of us knows
and the wren laughs in the early shade now
come again shining glance in your good time
naked air late morning
my love is for lightness
of touch foot feather
the day is yet one more yellow leaf
and without turning I kiss the light
by an old well on the last of the month
gathering wild rose hips
in the sun."
-   W. S. Merwin,  The Love of October
"The sweet calm sunshine of October, now
    Warms the low spot; upon its grassy mold
The pur0ple oak-leaf falls; the birchen bough
    drops its bright spoil like arrow-heads of gold."
-   William Cullen Bryant
"The clump of maples on the hill,
And this one near the door,
Seem redder, quite a lot, this year
Than last, or year before;
I wonder if it's jest because
I Love the Old State more!"
-   David L. Cady, October in Vermont
"The scarlet of maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
to see the frosty asters like smoke
upon the hills."
-   William Bliss Carman  
"My tidings for you: the stag bells,
Winter snows, Summer is gone.
Wind high and cold, low the sun,
Short his course, sea running high.
Deep-red the bracken, its shape all gone,
The wild goose has raised his wonted cry.
Cold has caught the wings of birds.
Season of ice – these are my tidings."
-  Irish Poem, Translated by Caitlin Matthews  
"The leaves fall patiently
Nothing remembers or grieves
The river takes to the sea
The yellow drift of leaves."
-   Sara Teasdale
"Youth is like spring, an over-praised season more remarkable for biting winds than genial breezes.  
Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits."
-   Samuel Butler
"She had only to stand in the orchard, to put her hand on a little crab tree and look up at the apples, to make you feel the goodness of planting and tending and harvesting at last."
-  Willa Cather
"You ought to know that October is the first Spring month."
-  Karel Capek
"October is nature's funeral month.  Nature glories in death more than in life.  The month of departure is more beautiful than the month of coming - October than May.  Every green thin loves to die in bright colors."
-   Henry Ward Beecher
"Your tombstone stands among the rest; 
neglected and alone 
The name and date are chiseled out 
on polished, marbled stone 
It reaches out to all who care 
It is too late to mourn 
You did not know that I’d exist 
You died and I was born. 
Yet each of us are cells of you 
in flesh, in blood, in bone. 
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse 
entirely not our own. 
Dear Ancestor, the place you filled 
one hundred years ago 
Spreads out among the ones you left 
who would have loved you so. 
I wonder if you lived and loved, 
I wonder if you knew 
That someday I would find this spot, 
and come to visit you."
-   Dear Ancestor 
"Perhaps the most famous icon of the holiday is the jack-o-lantern.  Various authorities attribute it to either Scottish or Irish origin.  However, it seems clear that it was used as a lantern by people who traveled the road this night, the scary face to frighten away spirits or faeries who might otherwise lead one astray.  Set on porches and in windows, they cast the same spell of protection over the household.  (The American pumpkin seems to have forever superseded the European gourd as the jack-o-lantern of choice.)  Bobbing for apples may well represent the remnants of a Pagan 'baptism' rite called a 'seining', according to some writers.  The water-filled tub is a latter-day Cauldron of Regeneration, into which the novice's head is immersed.  The fact that the participant in this folk game was usually blindfolded with hands tied behind the back also puts one in mind of a traditional Craft initiation ceremony."
-   Mike Nichols, All Hallow's Eve
"The gilding of the Indian summer mellowed the pastures far and wide.  
The russet woods stood ripe to be stripped, but were yet full of leaf.  
The purple of heath-bloom, faded but not withered, tinged the hills...  
Fieldhead gardens bore the seal of gentle decay; ... its time of 
flowers and even of fruit was over."
-   Charlotte Brontė  
"Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn."
-   Elizabeth Lawrence
"Stone Lagoon and sky
become one--
deepening fog."  
-   Michael P. Garofalo, Above the Fog 
"Colors burst in wild explosions
Fiery, flaming shades of fall
All in accord with my pounding heart
Behold the autumn-weaver
In bronze and yellow dying
Colors unfold into dreams
In hordes of a thousand and one
The bleeding
Unwearing their masks to the last notes of summer
Their flutes and horns in nightly swarming
Colors burst within
Spare me those unending fires
Bestowed upon the flaming shades of fall."
-   Dark Tranquility, With the Flaming Shades of Fall
“But I remember more dearly autumn afternoons in bottoms that lay intensely silent under old great trees”
-   C. S. Lewis

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