"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
Does anyone else remember that poem? Even as a kid, James Whitcomb Riley’s take on an autumn morning drew me in. I could see the rooster crowing on the fence, an autumn sunrise dawning on fields that glimmered with a million icy diamonds. The farm-smells of hay and dust as an olfactory backdrop to the wonder and magic of autumn in the country. It sums up my own feelings about this season perfectly.
As a kid, I used to hate autumn. It signaled the end of summer, the end of sun, the end of fun. Days would get colder, darker, and shorter, and be filled with schoolwork instead of adventures. It would rain, and rain, and rain some more until I wondered that the whole world didn’t flood. And the leaves would fall off of the trees so they would look naked and bare. I felt sorry for the trees because they had to look so gloomy under those cloudy skies.
Then I moved to Alaska. There weren’t even trees that could look gloomy in the autumn. Instead, the short summer would give way to stronger winds, and the tundra would turn from emerald to brown. It always snowed on Halloween, the first snow of the year. So I knew that autumn would be overtaken by winter blizzards in no time.
When I moved back to Washington at the end of the summer 5 years ago and the leaves started to turn once again, I couldn’t have been more pleased. I’d forgotten. I had forgotten the colors that those leaves would turn into. I had forgotten how refreshing and cleansing that rain felt. I had forgotten that chilly days make for the perfect excuse to cozy up with a good book, warm drink, and cozy blanket. How could I have hated autumn before? It’s beautiful, it’s part of life, and it may as well be enjoyed instead of loathed because goodness knows it’s not going anywhere. 🙂
When the Frost is on the Punkin
By James Whitcomb RileyWhen the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock,And you hear the kyouck and gobble of the struttin’ turkey-cock,And the clackin’ of the guineys, and the cluckin’ of the hens,And the rooster’s hallylooyer as he tiptoes on the fence;O, it’s then’s the times a feller is a-feelin’ at his best,With the risin’ sun to greet him from a night of peaceful rest,As he leaves the house, bareheaded, and goes out to feed the stock,When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.They’s something kindo’ harty-like about the atmusfereWhen the heat of summer’s over and the coolin’ fall is here—Of course we miss the flowers, and the blossums on the trees,And the mumble of the hummin’-birds and buzzin’ of the bees;But the air’s so appetizin’; and the landscape through the hazeOf a crisp and sunny morning of the airly autumn daysIs a pictur’ that no painter has the colorin’ to mock—When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock.The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn,And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn;The stubble in the furries—kindo’ lonesome-like, but stillA-preachin’ sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill;The strawstack in the medder, and the reaper in the shed;The hosses in theyr stalls below—the clover over-head!—O, it sets my hart a-clickin’ like the tickin’ of a clock,When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock!Then your apples all is gethered, and the ones a feller keepsIs poured around the celler-floor in red and yeller heaps;And your cider-makin’ ’s over, and your wimmern-folks is throughWith their mince and apple-butter, and theyr souse and saussage, too! …I don’t know how to tell it—but ef sich a thing could beAs the Angels wantin’ boardin’, and they’d call around on me—I’d want to ’commodate ’em—all the whole-indurin’ flock—When the frost is on the punkin and the fodder’s in the shock