and it is hard to the warm-skinned
to distinguish one sensation,
from the other,
~A. S. Byatt from Elementals: Stories of Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
~Robert Frost “Fire and Ice”
Whether we are consumed by flames or frost,
if we rendered ash or crystal —
Yet ashes remain ashes, only and forever
If encased in ice, a thaw can restore.
Frozen memories sear
like a sculpture meant to melt,
and thereby the imprisoned
are forever freed.
Winter is an etching,
spring a watercolor,
summer an oil painting
and autumn a mosaic of them all.
Autumn does have a culminating sense about it: it is the finale, the wrap up, the faretheewell, the new leaf turned, now tired.
Everything that has come before is still here, under cover of glorious color and will remain after that last leaf falls and is recycled.
So we begin again with the annual rotation of the etchings, the pastels, the full throated oils and the ultimate mosaic.
The Artist’s signature can be spotted on every canvas.
He found himself wondering at times,
especially in the autumn,
about the wild lands,
and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams.
~J.R.R. Tolkien from The Fellowship of the Rings
Thank God who seasons thus the year,
And sometimes kindly slants his rays;
For in his winter he’s most near
And plainest seen upon the shortest days.
I scent my med’cine from afar,
Where the rude simpler of the year
October leads the rustling war,
And strews his honors on the summer’s bier.
The evening of the year draws on,
The fields a later aspect wear;
Since Summer’s garishness is gone,
Some grains of night tincture the noontide air.
~Henry David Thoreau, selected stanzas from “The Fall of the Leaf”
Wandering in a wild land of beauty,
especially in the coolness of autumn,
with the dry hot melting “garishness” of summer past,
God is most…
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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 color! 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.
~Edna St. Vincent Millay “God’s World”
Oh, earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you.
Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? – every, every minute?
I’m ready to go back. I should have listened to…
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Our local fair feels much like I remember when I was a child in the 60’s, accompanying my father to the Lynden fairgrounds during those summers of political and social turmoil. His job was to supervise the teachers of FFA kids (Future Farmers of America) so he did the rounds of the regional and county fairs and my brother and I tagged along to…
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The importance of taking time to do nothing . . .
You see them on porches and on lawns
down by the lakeside,
usually arranged in pairs implying a couple
who might sit there and look out
at the water or the big shade trees.
The trouble is you never see anyone
sitting in these forlorn chairs
though at one time it must have seemed
a good place to stop and do nothing for a while.
Sometimes there is a little table
between the chairs where no one
is resting a glass or placing a book facedown.
It may not be any of my business,
but let us suppose one day
that everyone who placed those vacant chairs
on a veranda or a dock sat down in them
if only for the sake of remembering
what it was they thought deserved
to be viewed from two chairs,
side by side with a table in between.
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Finding beauty in the cold. I bundled up and took my camera out for a walk but the fresh window frost seemed to hold the most intrigue. It is lovely too, along the river’s edge where the water moves so fast that the cold can’t hold it still. It seems like a good time to make soup!
© Karen McRae, 2017