— (noun) As one of the most beautiful words in the English language, susurrusis defined as a soft, murmuring sound. It resembles the rustling symphony of the fallen leaves moving across the pavement or the whispers created by the branches of the trees on a windy, autumn day. Uttering susurrus also simulates the acoustics of nature’s effect; this is one of those rare words where its aesthetic, sound and feel coincide beautifully.
Each of these leaves had just one chance to feather the air with an arabesque of yellow or red, backlit and buoyant, just one chance to be held on the palm of the year, then briskly brushed away like an instant. Maybe two hundred leaves lie piled together under this empty maple, their jumpsuits weighing them down with color, the wind knocked out of them. Quickly it passed, but how well they did it, falling like that, just simply falling.
Photograph: Scott Masterton (Gosford Ho, Scotland, United Kingdom)
Is not this a true autumn day?
Just the still melancholy that I love -
that makes life and nature harmonise.
The birds are consulting about their migrations,
the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay,
and begin to strew the ground,
that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air,
while they give us a scent that is
a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit.
Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird
I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
— George Eliot, [Letter to Miss Eliot, Oct. 1, 1841]
The leaves are turning,
one by one carried away in the crisp wind [...]
Away, away,says the blue and gold day,
and no one hears it but the wind,
whose law it echoes.
The dog has a red ball to chase.
You pick a flat, perfect stone
for the wall you hope to live long enough to rebuild.
I prune briars,
pick burrs from the dog’s fur.
I teach Come and Sit. Sit here —
a longer sit beneath the cedars.
The grass is freshly cut,
all the energy of a summer’s day rushing into bulb and root.
The dog runs off, returns.
The stones balance steeply.
Good work. Good dog.
This is heaven.
Just when you’d begun to feel
You could rely on the summer,
That each morning would deliver
The same mourning dove singing
From his station on the phone pole,
The same smell of bacon frying
Somewhere in the neighborhood,
The same sun burning off
The coastal fog by noon,
When you could reward yourself
For a good morning’s work
With lunch at the same little seaside cafe
With its shaded deck and iced tea,
The day’s routine finally down
Like an old song with minor variations,
There comes that morning when the light
Tilts ever so slightly on its track,
A cool gust out of nowhere
Whirlwinds a litter of dead grass
Across the sidewalk, the swimsuits
Are piled on the sale table,
And the back of your hand,
Which you thought you knew,
Has begun to look like an old leaf.
Or the back of someone else’s hand.
—George Bilgere, “August,” The Good Kiss (Akron, 2002)
A trip through North-Western Italy in October wrapped in The Four Seasons by Vivaldi.
I peek at the weather app before I step outside.
“34° F. Feels like 26° F. Partly Cloudy.”
Winter closing in.
I yank my Tuque over my ears.
I glance at the mirror.
The Black Avenger: Back for an encore.
Black Tuque. Black jacket. Black pants.
And Red Shoes.
I cue up my David Gray playlist.
Open the door.
And head to the street.
How often does it happen?
Just the right song cycles up.
65 David Gray songs resting.
Waiting for their turn.
And it pops up.
A bubbling geyser.
It starts slowly.
Starting from way down deep.
And surging upward.
No chemical inducements.
↓ click for audio (David Gray: “Everytime”)
Down from the doorway
And into the street
I hear the morning bell
Over and over the pattern repeat
I hear the morning bell
And all the faces cold as stone
In the January chill…
~ David Gray, Everytime [Read more...]
“I’m sick of watching the shirts with sleeves hang lonesome in my closet, I want to put them on and let you take them off. I want to wear the kinds of things that don’t slip off in an instant, the kinds of things with zippers and buttons and layers and depth. I want to feel soft, I want the comfort of a comforter, I want to spend Saturdays in bed with all the windows open.
I want to spend Sundays in cars with the windows open, too, driving to fields where apples and pumpkins grow. I want to taste the thick of fall in my mouth, in pies and brews and hot coffee. I want confusion over whether or not to wear a jacket and confusion over what hue that tree was three weeks ago, I want everything to change so that I can feel like there’s reason to be alert, like there’s a reason to wake up again.”
That breath that you just took… that’s a gift.
~ Rob Bell
Robert Holmes “Rob” Bell Jr., 43, was born in Ingham County, Michigan. He is an American author and pastor. Bell was the founder of Mars Hill Bible Church located in Grandville, Michigan, which he pastored until 2012. Under his leadership Mars Hill was one of the fastest-growing churches in America. He is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers Love Wins and Velvet Elvis and the writer and narrator of a series of spiritual short films called NOOMA. In 2011 Time Magazine named Bell to its list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. He is currently working with former Lost producer Carlton Cuse on a television series. (Source: wiki)
“It is only her in large portions of Canada that wondrous second wind, the Indian summer, attains its amplitude and heavenly perfection, — the temperatures; the sunny haze; the mellow, rich delicate, almost flavoured air: Enough to live — enough to merely be.”
Walt Whitman, Diary in Canada
“I remember it as October days are always remembered, cloudless, maple-flavored, the air gold and so clean it quivers.”
~ Leif Enger, Peace Like a River
“In 2002, Peace Like a River was a National Bestseller and hailed as one of the year’s top five novels by Time, and selected as one of the best books of the year by nearly all major newspapers.” If you haven’t read this wonderful book, it is worth your time. Find it here.
I pull on my long sleeve shirt, first of the season.
The sunrise is working itself up on the horizon. A sliver of light in sea of darkness.
My feet are light. A soft, cool breeze kicks up goose bumps on my chest – I shiver. No matter. All body parts functioning. Biorhythms in alignment. Run friend. Run.
I pass a group of early morning runners. One is wearing a nighttime reflective green vest.
Firefighters wearing florescent green vests are lingering – - others are sweeping glass off the highway. My Thursday night commute home, and I’m late for dinner. My Northbound traffic will be clearing in 6 miles. Southbound traffic is at a standstill. I arrive at the bottleneck. The Roof of the Jeep is decapitated. White air bags hanging limp.
Yellow. Double Yellow Lines.
I lumber up the meandering hill on Long Neck Point Road. I’m winded. I slow the pace to catch my breath.
He was 12 years old. I was barreling down a 2-lane highway returning from our vacation in Banff, looking for an opening to pass the car ahead of me. Double yellow lines signal a corner. As I take my foot of the accelerator, a cat bolts in front of the car in front of us. Eric screams and buries his head into his Mother. I’m looking in the rear view mirror. He’s trembling. [Read more...]
I cried over beautiful things knowing no beautiful thing lasts.
The field of cornflower yellow is a scarf at the neck of the copper sunburned woman,
the mother of the year, the taker of seeds.
The northwest wind comes and the yellow is torn full of holes, new beautiful things
come in the first spit of snow on the northwest wind, and the old things go,
not one lasts.
~ Carl Sandburg, 1878-1967.
If the sun were a tree
Its leaves would be this shining color
And they would drop
Over the toes of my boots
When I step
There would be the sound
Of light breaking.
— Tom Hennen
Credits: Poem via A Poet Reflects from Hennen’s closing lines to “Wild Aspen Leaves, October,” in Darkness Sticks to Evertything: Collected and New Poems (Copper Canyon Press, 2013); Image: Your Eyes Blaze Out via Elinka (Maple Leaf In Autumn Night)
Related Tom Hennen posts:
“That old September feeling, left over from school days, of summer passing, vacation nearly done, obligations gathering, books and football in the air… Another fall, another turned page: there was something of jubilee in that annual autumnal beginning, as if last year’s mistakes had been wiped clean by summer.”
— Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose
By one my favorite authors from one of my favorite books, the Pulitzer Prize Winning Angle of Repose.
With overripe berries
and the last margin of wildflowers
and gauzy-winged dragonflies
skimming a creek
into shimmering rings
above minnows as bright as dimes,
our world seems splendid, immutable.
Leaf by leaf
the stream is laced
with green going to yellow and red
twirling from a colonnade of trees,
down on strips of light.
Near water urging over mossy rubble,
it’s hard to accept it’s all ending.
Parents have died and children are leaving.
Even the birds
ounce their singing,
to cover for night.
And under the late glow of sun,
every place whispers
that it’s time to move on,
that autumn must come
autumn must come,
“The Master, addressing the assembly, said, “Brothers, it is the beginning of autumn, and the end of summer. You may go east or west, but you should go only to a place where there is not a single inch of grass for ten thousand li.” After pausing for a while he asked, “How does one go to a place where there is not a single inch of grass for ten thousand li?”
Later this was related to Shih-shuang, who said, “Why didn’t someone say, ‘As soon as one goes out the door, there is grass’?”
The Master, hearing of this response, said, “Within the country of the Great T’ang such a man is rare.”
-The Record of Tung-Shan
“As busy as the world gets, there are still times when things move a little slower. When life is a little simpler. When the local color looks good enough to eat. Welcome to Harvest Time. When Mother Nature puts on a whole new wardrobe. And we look at life in a whole new way. So pull out that favorite sweater and grab yourself a little piece, of Pure Michigan.”
Wonderful 30 second clip that captures the feeling and beauty of autumn.
Good Sunday Morning.
…And I’m taking in the Indian Summer
And I’m soaking it up in my mind
And I’m pretending like it’s paradise
On a golden autumn day, on a golden autumn day
On a golden autumn day, on a golden autumn day, golden autumn day …
~ Van Morrison
And every year there is a brief, startling moment
When we pause in the middle of a long walk home and
Suddenly feel something invisible and weightless
Touching our shoulders, sweeping down from the air:
It is the autumn wind pressing against our bodies;
It is the changing light of fall falling on us.