i could wax rhapsodic about fall for many many posts, but i will refrain. Only barely though.

so we bundle up in our sweaters, let the last warmth of summer settle into our bones, and prepare for the deep sleep of fall. the warm bed in the cold night, the skitter and play of leaves on streets and roofs, the blustery winds that drive us to seek comfort in homes redolent of spices. the lengthening dark of winter’s approach drives us to the mountains, to the orchards, to the fields, to save and preserve the final parts of summer’s bounty.

we walk down shadowed lanes, with leaves suddenly bursting with light, as if lit from within, light coursing through the branches of the trees we stand beneath. the flickering rays of sun enter our homes, our eyes, our hearts, turning all to brightness within, and we store the light in our hands. hands that flicker with speed over knitting needles, fabric, jars, bottles and pages of books, fluttering like the leaves from the one perfect tree illuminated by the setting sun.

in cold clear nights, we gather around fires, burning with the remains of summer’s light and warmth and water. we gather our friends to us, hoarding our moments together, preparing for the long cold of the coming nights in our homes. driven together, we set fires inside each other that outlast the ashes of wood and water. eyes across the fire meet, and our hearts burst with light.

this is the last, loveliest smile. the pause between the opposing agonies of summer and  winter. the old friend who settles in to tell stories of where he has been since last you met. the smell of ripe earth, honeysweet and bitter.

appreciative nods to william cullen bryant, carol bishop hipps, stephen king and rainer maria rilke for the final paragraph.

image from: Kelsey Garrity Riley

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2 thoughts on “the poetry of leaves and ashes

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