Wanton Beauty

October 21, 2011

Sumac's fire-lit torch

Sumac in October

by Lexie Dean Robertson

First days in autumn make me catch my breath
In sheer amaze that I shall see again
The fruitful beauty of the earth in death
Across the painted pageant of the plain:

A lilac dawn comes up and fades to gray,
A thin white scarf of wild birds trails the sky,
The sumac’s fire a torch to light the day,
And pearly rustlings of the frost drift by;

Against the curve of distant hills, the blue
Of smoky mist falls into purple night;
The pale gold sickle of the moon lifts new
To hew a circled radiance of dim light.

How strange it is that autumn days will lend
Such beauty wantonly for death to spend.

Watercolor sketch of colorful sumac leaves

Watercolor sketch of sumac leaves

“It rained and rained and rained and rained.  It drizzled — misted — drooled — spat — poured — and just plain rained.”
— Betty MacDonald, The Egg and I

“Other days were just gray and low hanging with a continual pit-pat-pit-pat-pitta-patta-pitta-patta which became as vexing as listening to baby talk.”
— Betty MacDonald, The Egg and I

Sumac in the rain

Fallen leaf with raindrops

We’ve been having a rainy October in Seattle.  I’m ready for some sunshine!


Fall Foliage

October 19, 2009

Fall colors near Little Oscar Lake, Minnesota

Fall colors near Little Oscar Lake, Minnesota

Late-turning leaves, Little Oscar Lake, Minnesota

Late-turning leaves, Little Oscar Lake, Minnesota

Red sumac, Mondovi, Wisconsin

Red sumac, Mondovi, Wisconsin

“The woods of Autumn, all around our vale,
Have put their glory on.”
     — William Cullen Bryant

I returned yesterday from a trip home to Minnesota.  I had wanted to experience the fall colors, which in my memories were a glory of brilliant oranges, reds, and yellows.  This has been an odd autumn in Minnesota, however.  The trees did not turn color.  When I got off the plane on October 1st, the trees were still green!  Even when I drove north to visit my oldest and youngest sisters, there were only pockets of color here and there.  And then, midway through my stay, it snowed!!  It felt like winter without having the compensating gift of a mellow and glorious autumn.

All in all, it was a good trip though.  I was able to spend time with five of my eight siblings, and I had a long stay with my dad at the farm.