All night the crickets chirp, Like little stars of twinkling sound In the dark silence.
They sparkle through the summer stillness With a crisp rhythm: They lift the shadows on their tiny voices.
But at the shining note of birds that wake, Flashing from tree to tree till all the wood is lit— O golden coloratura of dawn!— The cricket-stars fade slowly, One by one. ~Leonora Speyer, “Crickets at Dawn” from A Canopic Jar
Most mornings here tend to be gray — primarily unassuming and humble. Sunrise usually happens without much visual fanfare – blink and I miss it.
Instead I listen for morning rather than watch for it.
As summer night sounds fade out, the dawn songs begin. Birds become the harbingers where frogs and crickets let off.
There are a few special days when the light ascends gilded and decides to linger while the whole atmosphere is transformed. The air itself is burnished and shining, and all that is touched turns to gold. Like a stage production about to begin, the curtain rises to the sounds of an overture while a resplendent backdrop is illuminated.
So I wait, a transfixed audience, for the day’s aria to begin.
And then in the falling comes a rising, as of the bass coming up for autumn’s last insects struggling amid the mosaic of leaves on the lake’s surface. We express it as the season of lacking, but what is this nakedness — the unharvested corn frost-shriveled but still a little golden under the diffuse light of a foggy sky, the pin oak’s newly stark web of barbs, the woodbine’s vines shriven of their scarlet and left askew in the air like the tangle of threads on the wall’s side of the castle tapestry—what is it but greater intimacy, the world slackening its grip on the veils, letting them slump to the floor in a heap of sodden colors, and saying, this is me, this is my skeletal muscle, my latticework of bones, my barren winter skin, this is it and if you love me, know that this is what you love. ~Laura Fargas “October Struck” from Animal of the Sixth Day
Something about the emerging nakedness of autumn reassures that we can be loved even when stripped down to our bones. We do make quite a show of shedding our coverings, our bits and pieces fluttering down to rejoin the soil, but what is left is meager lattice.
But when the light is just right, we are golden, illuminated and illuminating, even if barely there.
The world does not need words. It articulates itself in sunlight, leaves, and shadows. The stones on the path are no less real for lying uncatalogued and uncounted. The fluent leaves speak only the dialect of pure being.
The sunlight needs no praise piercing the rainclouds, painting the rocks and leaves with light, then dissolving each lucent droplet back into the clouds that engendered it. The daylight needs no praise, and so we praise it always– greater than ourselves and all the airy words we summon. ~Dana Giola from “Words”
The words the world needs is the Word itself;
because He breathed breath into us
and said that it was good.
Whatever we have to say about His Creation
pales compared to His it is good
But we try
over and over again
to use words of wonder and praise
to express our awe and gratitude and amazement
while painted golden by His breath of Light.
There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on,
and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October.
The sunshine is peculiarly genial;
and in sheltered places, as on the side of a bank, or of a barn or house,
one becomes acquainted and friendly with the sunshine.
It seems to be of a kindly and homely nature.
And the green grass strewn with a few withered leaves looks the more green and beautiful for them. ~Nathaniel Hawthorne
If I were a month, I would prefer to be October…
A kindly and homely nature, with comfortable temperatures and just a hint of fogginess,
with flashes of burnt umber flashing misty gold in a relinquishing light.
a leisurely walk through the fields near the house – two friends who haven’t seen each other for over a year, Much later they will remember only a color, a golden yellow, and the sound of their feet scuffling the leaves. A day without rancor or angry words, the sort of day that builds a life, becoming a soft place to look back on, and geese, geese flying south out of winter. ~Stephen Dobyns from “The Music One Looks Back On”
As I look back through my mind’s eye,
I remember days that soften in memory
through their color~
the pinks of an early winter sunrise
the greens of springtime pastures
the blues of a mountain lake
the oranges of a fiery sunset
the browns of freshly tilled earth
the whites of a snowfall
the reds of summer heat
the grays of ever present rain clouds
but am enriched by the treasure
of the gold of autumn
as it descends and settles
to cushion my remaining steps.
The thistledown’s flying, though the winds are all still,
On the green grass now lying, now mounting the hill,
The spring from the fountain now boils like a pot;
Through stones past the counting it bubbles red-hot.
The ground parched and cracked is like overbaked bread,
The greensward all wracked is, bents dried up and dead.
The fallow fields glitter like water indeed,
And gossamers twitter, flung from weed unto weed.
Hill-tops like hot iron glitter bright in the sun,
And the rivers we’re eying burn to gold as they run;
Burning hot is the ground, liquid gold is the air;
Whoever looks round sees Eternity there. ~John Clare “Autumn”
As October wraps up here,
there are golden mornings,
and golden in-betweens,
into diminishing daylight hours
more precious than gold~
may this last forever
or at least until November…