" When summer gathers up her robes of glory,
And, like a dream glides away. "
SARAH HELEN WHITMAN
Autumn was always my favourite season. But in more recent years, I felt less adamant about it, for I found myself truly anticipating and appreciating each season, yes, including winter. With that, I sort of assumed they were each my favourites, by turn. But yesterday, I realized, as an unbidden joy sprung up from within, Autumn was....and still remains my most favourite season of the year. I could feel my senses alert to the moment, for I adore that contrast of crisp, cool air against the sun's warm, pleasant rays. And, that's exactly how the day felt in late afternoon.
As I drove round the traffic circle, heading down the winding street towards home, a surge of happiness welled up as I caught sight of the slanting light hitting the tops of the trees. There was a marked ambiance, heavy with a sense of relief, as if the earth, brilliant and bold and bountiful all spring and summer, could at last let go of her boundless energy, and relax—much like the relief a woman feels after holding her midriff in a fitted dress all afternoon. Oh, the joy of letting go.
The glories in the garden begin to fade, and I feel the peacefulness of that evanescent charm. And as much as I am smitten with the riotous beauty of autumn's raving russets and luminous gold-leaf, still to come in our area, I think what I really have come to appreciate is that sense of being able to come back to oneself, to center one's soul. The old Victoria magazines, in its September issues, used to focus on finding the quiet center of one's life, and writing from that to the world....to use words Sarah Orne Jewett once penned.
I found these various lines below attributed to American author Gladys Taber. She seems to have captured the feeling of summer's fading charm much better than I have. Let me share:
September wind blows away the fatigue of summer heat, and the listlessness of August weather. It blows away, indeed, the piled up years. It makes the heart young. Going back to school, football games, dancing, falling in love, corn roasts, moonlight rides - so many such things belong to September. . . .I have always felt that something fine is about to happen. And the fact that winter is on the way is not troubling this early in autumn. Time enough to think of that in October and November, but now it is too soon. First comes the harvest, the last ripening, the splash of zinnia color in the garden, the perfect late golden rose. Yes, a good time to be young, and to relive young days. . . .
"Notice the beauty.
See what lovely things there are for you to do
in your corner of the world."
I snipped the last of the sweet peas from the vine a couple of mornings ago. A handful of seeds tucked into the ground early in spring now towered overhead. The vines outgrew their trellises which seemed giants in May. So much joy they've provided over the summer months. Jars on the kitchen counter, fistfuls handed to neighbours and friends who stopped by.
And, on this particular morning, I had a floating feather thought to give a bouquet to the mail lady who had just pulled up at the cluster of mailboxes across the street. Nearly brushing the thought aside, I hurried inside to find a jar and add water. I crossed the street—carefully, covidly—holding out the bunch of perfumed petals, "Would you like some sweet peas?" With an instant smile and reaching out with a welcoming hand came the exclamation, "I love sweet peas. Oh, I can smell them. Are you sure?" Oh yes!
And so the days unfold in pleasant gentleness and quietude.... on my street, in my home, in my heart.
Wishing you a beautiful weekend.
Be well. Be safe.