Thursday, September 19, 2013


After a late summer heat wave, we are finally starting to see a little cool down here in Southern California. I know I'll be kicking myself later, but I am glad it's getting cooler. In a few months, when it's in the 40s and raining when I take the dog out, I know I'll be singing a different tune! And that's always the way with the two main seasons, summer and winter. After a certain point, I get tired of the heat of summer or the cold of winter and long for the seasons to change.

The leaves on the sycamores are just starting to turn brown and curl up before dropping to the ground; they are the main leaf-changer in my neighborhood. The sweet gums, whose leaves turn a brilliant dark red, won't turn until almost Thanksgiving. There are a few maples in some yards, and they will start turning soon, too. The rest--the pines and other evergreens--will keep their needles for the winter. And of course the palms stay green all year.

A poet I've recently stumbled across, Mary Oliver, wrote a wonderful poem about this time of year:

Fall Song
Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,
the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back
from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere
except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle
of unobservable mysteries - roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This
I try to remember when time's measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn
flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay - how everything lives, shifting
from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.
Mary Oliver
(From American Primitive)

[Photo: San Bernardino National Forest, October 2011]

1 comment:

Tabor said...

We want it hot and we want it cool and we want it warm and we just want everything...but not too much or for too long!