Lord, it is time. The summer was very big. Lay thy shadow on the sundials,
and on the meadows let the winds go loose. Command the last fruits that
they shall be full; give them another two more southerly days, press them
on to fulfillment and drive the last sweetness into the heavenly wine.
- Rainer Maria Rilke
September, - such a beautiful and ambivalent month......
The garden catches its breath, and lo, the delphinium, the roses and the shasta daisies send forth blooms that rival summer's show.
As September comes into its own the Aster puts forth tentative shaggy flowers, while all over the dark green bush, buds promise a glorious tribute to fall, later in the month. Same with the Chrysanthemums, but they are both content to graciously bide their time while summer flowers give us one last tender retrospect - a sweet goodbye to hot and hazy, lazy days.Husband's sunflowers make a trip down the road a cheerful, sunny adventure. One of them bows in obeisance, but another bends even further, to see if perhaps her shoelaces are undone. Cool mornings, sunny afternoons and early evenings refresh the spirit that laboured under August's heat. It is a renewal and a new beginning, - and yet the second flush of summer flowers have a frailty to them that speaks of coming shadows. That the shadows are preceded by the glorious shades of fall cannot deter us completely from thoughts of melancholy November days. If we are wise we enjoy the ambiance of autumn. We revel in the golds, the scarlets, the subtle shades of green and umber yellows, and we put away from us the greying skies of November, - the mists that cover the mountains and the cold winds that drive us indoors.
In the meantime we have the "Lyric night of the lingering Indian Summer"
Shadowy fields that are scentless but full of singing,
Never a bird, but the passionless chant of insects,
The grasshopper's horn, and far-off, high in the maples,
The wheel of a locust leisurely grinding the silence
Under a moon waning and worn, broken,
Tired with summer.
- Sarah Teasdale, September Midnights
So here we are, stretching it somewhat to say we are still in the autumn of our lives, but still reveling in the glories of September and October. And trying not to be overshadowed by the thoughts of November, yet to come...........
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,