Autumn is not really a distinct season in India. All my images of autumn come from my reading. To me no one described autumn better than John Keats in his poem ‘To Autumn‘. But then I’ve always been partial to Keats.
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.
Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.
Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,–
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.
His poem dwells on three aspects of autumn – growth, maturity and finally approaching death. So much like the cycle of life. We grow and blossom, mature and then get ready for the ultimate leveler – death. To me autumn is all about celebrating life and love and taking the time to focus on our most prized relationships.
Today, when I think about the word ‘autumn’, I’m not sure why I get an image of my grandparents. I can recall them singing a song called ‘Silver Threads Among The Gold’. This image doesn’t fill me with sadness, although they have passed on. Instead, it makes me want to treasure my relationship with my husband. It makes me want to be more focused on our love and to celebrate our lives together and as individuals. I know I’m getting carried away, but that’s what memories do to us. That’s what examples of love and caring do.
Here’s to autumn – a season of celebration, of gratitude for the abundance we have, a season to treasure love!
What does autumn mean to you?
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The phrase that always leaps to my mind with autumn is “gentle warning.” I love the bright colors here in New England (USA) and the bountiful harvest along with all the traditions and homey customs. And the truth behind it all is that winter is coming and bringing death along with it.
Of course, as you say, this is not always a bad thing either.
Yes! But we must be prepared for it – and take the gentle warning to heart, mustn’t we, Michelle?
I love the colors of autumn, the streets lined with russet gold and brown leaves, trees the color of flame (as you can probably tell, all beautiful photographs seen online). The season feels like “shedding” to me – letting go of everything that doesn’t serve and knowing that something else will come along. Better, perhaps. But something new nonetheless. It feels a bit like a promise.
Yes, we see these only in photographs, don’t we. But as the year end comes closer, it’s always time to review, shed and be open to something new. Thanks for sharing your wisdom, as always.
My favourite poem too! Autumn to me is golden and yellow a richness , an abundance and ripening maturity. It means a slowing down, taking stock and getting ready for another year- new experiences that enrich our lives.
Glad you like it, Sunita. Yes, slowing down and taking stock is so much a part of Autumn.
The poem is sooooo beautiful… The imagery… The setting… The words… I am in love with it. Thank you for sharing this beautiful work.
Autumn is my favorite season. Nature becomes ridiculously good looking.
That’s why I love Keats, Raji. His poems are so sensuous.
I’ve never really analysed what Autumn means to me. But as I was reading your post, the song Twilight on the Trail by Nat King Cole kept playing in my head. I guess Autumn signifies the twilight years when the ambitious drives are over, when the desire to attain something or reach somewhere fades and when you start to savour and enjoy life just as it is.
I can’t believe I haven’t heard that song before, Suzy. I love another song that goes…’Those Autumn leaves drift by your window…’
Coincidentally, Corinne, my post for this week’s Monday Musing has my grandparents featuring in it! 🙂
Autum, for me is a month of transition, harbinger of winter. It also tells me that three fourth of the year already had passed away and the new year is just few months ahead.
The lines that I particularly liked from the poem are… “Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they? Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,–” ‘Be content’ is what they are professing, isnt it? The world will always have something or the other better than what one may possess. However, what matters more is what is inside and how best one can use it.
I loved your post. And yes, we must learn to be happy in every season, mustn’t we?
I love the feeling of Autumn … it brings with it different hues of colours, festivals and celebrations…