Sunday Morning


Pictures from this morning’s walk at Cove Island Park here.

It’s like falling in love. The magic can’t last.

Autumn is sneaky. Although I’m always on the lookout for it, always primed for it, it bursts into its ephemeral majesty so quickly that I’m always startled by it, too. A tree that I remember as green from yesterday’s walk is crimson today. A tree that I don’t remember at all has taken up residence on some tantalizing band of the color spectrum between orange and pink. My eyes widen and my heart swells — it’s like falling in love. It has that same seed of sadness, that same prickle of death. The magic can’t last.

I’ve lived in places where there’s little change in seasons, where the mercury moseys slightly upward or subtly downward but the landscape doesn’t refashion itself. There’s an argument for such modesty. It doesn’t demand as varied a wardrobe.

And to have the kind of autumn that I savor here in North Carolina means to be plunged into a winter with just enough cold on the worst days to test your mettle, to denude those trees and turn them skeletal. I have neighbors behind me whose house I can barely make out in July. In January, though, I can almost watch the football games on the big-screen television in their lavishly windowed great room.

But that’s January. This is early November, when the leaves that haven’t yet lost their grip are making a brilliant statement, taking a final bow. Autumn in places that have a real autumn teaches you to live in the moment, to open yourself to the world around you, to pay homage, to pay heed. Fail that lesson and you just might miss the whole spectacle, which can retreat as suddenly and stealthily as it arrives. You’re left with regret. It’s a sorry cousin to remembrance.

— Frank Bruni, from “On a Personal Note” (NY Times, November 3, 2022)


Photo by DK @ Daybreak. 59° F. 6:30 to 6:50 am. November 1, 2022. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. More photos from Tuesday morning’s walk here.

…clouds might start to come in and they were gently autumnal; they made the world look quietly soft

By the middle of October, the foliage was beautiful. It seemed that the colors had arrived somewhat late, and because there had been so little rain for so long people thought maybe this was why the trees were shy and would not change their color so vibrantly. But then they did! Then they did.

Here is a secret about the beauty of the physical world. My mother told me this when I was very small —  my real mother, not the nice mother I made up later to be with me — my real mother told me one day that the great landscape painters understood one thing: that everything in nature started from the same color. And I thought of this as I watched the leaves changing. You may think: Don’t be ridiculous! There are vibrant reds and yellows and greens! And there are. Yet, walking along the river, as I did more frequently now, but also walking down our narrow road, I saw this. That in the yellows and the reds and the greens, they were somehow springing from the same color. And it is hard to describe this, but as more leaves fell I saw this more clearly.  Everything seems to start with a kind of brown and it grows from there: The huge slabs of rocks that were on the side of the road were gray and brown, and the oak trees that turned russet were similar in color to the seaweed that I have described as being a coppery color, and the water, whether it is dark green or gray or brown, was of a similar hue.

I also noticed how, in the afternoons, clouds might start to come in and they were gently autumnal; they made the world look quietly soft as though it was already getting ready to tuck itself in for the night. I am only saying what a thing the physical world is!

Elizabeth Strout, Lucy by the Sea: A Novel (Random House, September 20, 2022)


Photo: DK @ Brant Point, Nantucket. October 2, 2022 @ 7:21 am.  See more pictures from Brant point here.

Autumn: October 13, 1946.


Thank you Kurt @ Cultural Offering.

Monday Morning

5/24/41…

After all that, the change … was like the sudden, unwelcome awakening from a glorious dream. An awakening on a Monday morning when, with one’s castle and clouds and the silver sea dissolved into a sordid room, one realizes that one has to get up and dress in the cold night in a few minutes and plod through a weary day.

Patricia Highsmith, “Patricia Highsmith: Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941-1995.″ Anna von Planta (Editor). (Liveright, November 16, 2021)— Patricia Highsmith, Her Diaries and Notebooks: 1941-1995


Photo: DK @ Daybreak. 6:52 a.m., November 22, 2021. 48° F & Rain. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT. Related Swan posts: Swan1

Lightly Child, Lightly.

Later I went inside, out of the nostalgic sad autumnal smell of leaf smoke, and talked a few minutes to the girl propped in bed with her hair in pigtails. Despite the nausea, her eyes were extraordinarily bright. I thought she looked at me with the soft intensity, the tenderness, that I had seen in the eyes of too many people dying of cancer-the look that says how lovely are the shapes and colors of life and how dear the faces of friends, how desirable it all is, how soon to be lost.

― Wallace Stegner, All the Little Live Things (Penguin Books, December 1, 1991, first published 1967)


Notes:

  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”
  • Photo: Anne Jones with burning leaves

Sunday Morning

Autumn light is the loveliest light there is. Soft, forgiving, it makes all the world an illuminated dream. Dust motes catch fire, and bright specks drift down from the trees and lift up from the stirred soil, floating over lawns and woodland paths and ordinary roofs and parking lots. It’s an unchoreographed aerial dance, a celebration of what happens when light marries earth and sky. Autumn light always makes me think of fiery motes of chalk dust drifting in the expectant hush of an elementary school classroom during story time, just before the bell rings and sets the children free.

— Margaret Renkl, from “Our Days Have Always Been Running Out.” I greet autumn with a stillness I never felt when I was younger and in such a hurry. (NY Times, Sept 20, 2020)

 


Photo: DK. 10/4/20. 6:17 am. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.

Today’s Forecast: Rain

You will never be alone, you hear so deep
a sound when autumn comes. Yellow
pulls across the hills and thrums,
or the silence after lightening before it says
its names—and then the clouds’ wide-mouthed
apologies. You were aimed from birth:
you will never be alone. Rain
will come, a gutter filled, an Amazon,
long aisles—you never heard so deep a sound,
moss on rock, and years. You turn your head—
that’s what the silence meant: you’re not alone.
The whole wide world pours down.

~ William Stafford, “Assurance” in The Way It Is: New & Selected Poems


Notes:

  • Poem: Thank you The Hammock Papers
  • Photo: DK. Daybreak / Rain. September 10, 2020. 6:00 am. 68° F. At Cove Island, Stamford, CT

Today’s Forecast

“Rain on roof outside window, gray light, deep covers and warm blankets. Rain and nip of autumn in air; nostalgia.”

~ Sylvia Plath, from a journal entry featured in “The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath”


Notes: Quote via violentwavesofemotion. Photo via Frillmag

Lightly child, lightly

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…
Sit here —…
This is heaven.
Sit. Stay.

~ Margaret Gibson, from “Heaven“ in Broken Cup: Poems


Notes:

Lightly child, lightly

Do not expect that if your book falls open
to a certain page, that any phrase
you read will make a difference today,
or that the voices you might overhear
when the wind moves through the yellow-green
and golden tent of autumn, speak to you.
Things ripen or go dry. Light plays on the
dark surface of the lake. Each afternoon
your shadow walks beside you on the wall,
and the days stay long and heavy underneath
the distant rumor of the harvest. One
more summer gone,
and one way or another you survive,
dull or regretful, never learning that
nothing is hidden in the obvious
changes of the world, that even the dim
reflection of the sun on tall, dry grass
is more than you will ever understand.
And only briefly then
you touch, you see, you press against
the surface of impenetrable things.

Dana Gioia, “Do Not Expect” from 99 Poems: New & Selected


Notes:

  • Photo: via Newthom. Poem: Thank you Whiskey River
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Our kingdom’s gonna be this little patch of green

Well, the sun’s not so hot in the sky today
And you know I can see summertime slipping on away
A few more geese are gone, a few more leaves turning red
But the grass is as soft as a feather in a featherbed
So I’ll be king and you’ll be queen
Our kingdom’s gonna be this little patch of green

Won’t you lie down here right now
In this September grass
Won’t you lie down with me now
September grass.

Oh the memory is like the sweetest pain
Yeah, I kissed the girl at a football game
I can still smell the sweat and the grass stains
We walked home together. I was never the same.

But that was a long time ago
And where is she now? I don’t know

Won’t you lie down here right now
In this September grass
Won’t you lie down with me now
September grass…

~ James Taylor, from “September Grass” (Album “October Road” 2002)


JT Lyrics and post inspiration via The Hammock Papers

Yup…


Source: thisisnthappiness

Lightly Child, Lightly

I discovered that in the early part of the morning a mist hovered in the hollows of the estate and the grass was wet with dew. There was a smell in the air of bonfires, the land already preparing for autumn…The morning welcomed me and I felt lighter, more confident, walking with my head up, ready for anything.

– Claire Fuller, Bitter Orange (Tin House Books, October 9, 2018)


Notes:

  • Photo: Ed Stockard.
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness

Every year we have been
witness to it: how the
world descends

into a rich mash, in order that
it may resume.
And therefore
who would cry out

to the petals on the ground
to stay,
knowing, as we must,
how the vivacity of what was, is married

to the vitality of what will be?
I don’t say
it’s easy, but what
else will do

if the love one claims to have for the world
be true?

So let us go on, cheerfully enough,
this and every crisping day,

though the sun be swinging east,
and the ponds be cold and black,
and the sweets of the year be doomed.

~ Mary Oliver, “Lines Written in the Days of Growing Darkness” in A Thousand Mornings 


Notes: Poem source – Thank you Karl @ Mindfulbalance. Photo via afaerytalelife

Upper Peninsula, Northern Michigan, October 2018

 


Notes:

  • Photographer: Eric Kanigan (son), October 13, 2018, Presque Isle Park, Marquette, Michigan (top and bottom) and Sugar Loaf Mountain (middle)
  • Inspired by: “The mountain slopes around were already dyed with autumn colors, minute gradations of yellow and red, with an intrusion of green from the clumps of evergreens.” by ~ Haruki Murakami, Killing Commendatore: A Novel.

 

Sunday Morning

Sunday was another fine clear day. No wind to speak of, and the fall colors in the valley sparkling in the sunlight. Small white-breasted birds hopped from one branch to the next, deftly pecking the red berries. I sat on the terrace, soaking it all in. Nature grants its beauty to us all, drawing no line between rich and poor. Like time—no, scratch that, time could be a different story. Money may help us buy a little extra of that.”

~ Haruki Murakami, Killing Commendatore: A Novel. (October 9, 2018)


Photo: Paula W with chaffinch

Murakami’s brushstrokes

Autumn steadily deepened around me.

The sky opened up, the air clear and crisp,

the clouds like beautiful white brushstrokes.

~ Haruki Murakami, Killing Commendatore: A Novel (October, 2018)


Photo: Matt Champlin with Brushstrokes

Saturday Morning

Got up on a cool morning. Leaned out a window.
No cloud, no wind. Air that flowers held
for awhile. Some dove somewhere …

Let the bucket of memory down into the well,
bring it up. Cool, cool minutes. No one
stirring, no plans. Just being there.
This is what the whole thing is about.

William Stafford, from “Just Thinking” in Ask Me: 100 Essential Poems of William Stafford


Notes: Poem – Thank you Whiskey River. Photo Credit: Strandgut and Kulturmuscheln. Related Posts: William Stafford.

Autumn

gif-autumn-rain-leaves

Fallen leaves

fall on each other—

rain beats on the rain.

~ Kyōtai, from Haiku: An Anthology of Japanese Poems


Notes: Haiku via soracities. Photo: Rain and Coffee

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