The World, Moist and Beautiful

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photo of Goat Mountain in the North Cascades courtesy of Kris Carlson
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photo of Goat Mountain in the North Cascades, courtesy of Kris Carlson

 

And that is just the point… how the world, moist and beautiful, calls to each of us to make a new and serious response. That’s the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning. “Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?
~Mary Oliver

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Some mornings it is impossible to stay a silent and passive observer of the world.  It demands a response.

The overnight wind and rain have pulled down nearly every leaf, the ground is carpeted with the dying evidence of last spring’s rebirth, the dropping temperatures have robed the surrounding foothills in vibrant color and the peaks in a bright new snow covering.

There can be no complacency in witnessing this startling transition in progress.   It blusters, rips, drenches, encompasses, buries. Nothing remains as it was.

And here I am, alive.
Awed.
Responding.

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The Light of Old October

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In Heaven, it is always Autumn
~John Donne

 

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He found himself wondering at times,
especially in the autumn,
about the wild lands,
and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams.
~J.R.R. Tolkien Fellowship of the Rings

 

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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

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Such days of autumnal decline hold a strange mystery which adds to the gravity of all our moods.
~Charles Nodier

 

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I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.
~L.M. Montgomery Anne of Green Gables

 

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I was drinking in the surroundings:
air so crisp you could snap it with your fingers
and greens in every lush shade imaginable
offset by autumnal flashes of red and yellow.
~Wendy Delsol

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Just as a painter needs light in order to put the finishing touches to his picture,
so I need an inner light, which I feel I never have enough of in the autumn.
~Leo Tolstoy

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After the keen still days of September,
the October sun filled the world with mellow warmth…
The maple tree in front of the doorstep burned like a gigantic red torch.
The oaks along the roadway glowed yellow and bronze.
The fields stretched like a carpet of jewels,
emerald and topaz and garnet.
Everywhere she walked the color shouted and sang around her…
In October any wonderful unexpected thing might be possible.
~Elizabeth George Speare  The Witch of Blackbird Pond

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It was one of those sumptuous days
when the world is full of autumn muskiness
and tangy, crisp perfection:
vivid blue sky, deep green fields,
leaves in a thousand luminous hues.
It is a truly astounding sight
when every tree in a landscape becomes individual,
when each winding back highway
and plump hillside is suddenly and infinitely splashed
with every sharp shade that nature can bestow
– flaming scarlet, lustrous gold, throbbing vermilion, fiery orange.
~Bill Bryson

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The ripe, the golden month has come again…
Frost sharps the middle music of the seasons,
and all things living on the earth turn home again…
the fields are cut, the granaries are full,
the bins are loaded to the brim with fatness,
and from the cider-press the rich brown oozings of the York Imperials run.
The bee bores to the belly of the grape,
the fly gets old and fat and blue,
he buzzes loud, crawls slow,
creeps heavily to death on sill and ceiling,
the sun goes down in blood and pollen
across the bronzed and mown fields of the old October.
~Thomas Wolfe

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