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" Friendship is a sheltering tree "

Coleridge

Hal Borland on Autumn

September 18th, 2017

Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night; and thus he would never know the rhythms that are at the heart of life.

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The hush comes with the deepening of Autumn; but it comes gradually. Our ears are attuned to it, day by quieter day. But even now, if one awakens in the deep darkness of the small hours, one can hear it, a foretaste of Winter silence. It’s a little painful now, and a little lonely because it is so strange.

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Essentially, autumn is the quiet completion of spring and summer. Spring was all eagerness and beginnings, summer was growth and flowering. Autumn is the achievement summarized, the harvested grain, the ripened apple, the grape in the wine press. Autumn is the bright leaf in the woodland, the opened husk on the bittersweet berry, the fruit of asters at the roadside.

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Autumn is the eternal corrective. It is ripeness and color and a time of completion; but it is also breadth, and depth, and distance. What man can stand with Autumn on a hilltop and fail to see the span of his world and the substance of the rolling hills that reach to the far horizon?

~ Hal Borland

3 Responses to “Hal Borland on Autumn”

  1. Oh my, the enlargement of that picture made me gasp. I resonate so much with Autumn, is it, I wonder because I am in the Autumn of my life. Colours of enrichment, warmth, reward, whispers of another journey almost over. Love to all, Margaret.

  2. I often wish Autumn could last longer than all the seasons. The woods seem to open themselves to humankind with clean, welcoming paths once a jumble of brambles and vines throughout the summer months, as though guarding secrets. I thankfully walk in and make myself at home once more.

It's great to read your comments!