Autumn in the Berkshires...

Today FEELS like autumn in the Berkshires: cool with full sun, trees beginning to show their fall colors and gardens giving up their final tomatoes and eggplants and herbs. I am off to do a wedding for a young couple in a few hours after sharing breakfast and the NY Times with my sweetheart. Later I'll stop by the home of a young family to see my little guitar-buddy's new Ovation and break bread before calling it a day.

Autumn is always a mixed bag for me - maybe you, too? I cherish the very real shift in the sun's light and the bold and subtle colors of the hills all around me. I am smitten with pumpkins - can't get enough of them - in all their rich oranges and round/oval-ness. They speak to me of mystery and imperfection and beauty within the most ordinary of things. Mary Oliver writes:

Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.

How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.

How two hands touch and the bond will
never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.

Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
"Look!" and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.

What a mysterious and beautiful time this is - autumn in New England - I love it. I can't wait to rake leaves and roll in them like I did as a child. Or turn under the garden and fill it with this year's compost. Or carve my first jack'o'latern. Or sip the first apple cider of the season.

At the same time, however, almost woven into the awe, there is a melancholy, too. Maybe you've felt it in your time - a sadness deep within the bones and soul - that is connected to the light and the earth and the season but also cuts much deeper. Again, Mary Oliver helps me give shape to this without fully comprehending:

The lonely
stand in the dark corners
of their hearts.

I have seen them
in cities,
and in my own neighborhood,

nor could I touch them
with the magic that they crave

to be unbroken.
Then, I myself,

said hello to
good fortune.

came along
and lingered
and little by little

became everything
that makes the difference.
Oh, I wish such good luck

to everyone.
How beautiful it is
to be unbroken

I had to take a few pictures from my study window today because the view is changing: what once was wildly green and lush is morphing into browns and yellows that are more brittle. Next weekend we will be in Boston - another autumn ritual - and the season will ripen. Ever since I can remember, autumn has sounded like this to me... there but for fortune, indeed.


Black Pete said…
I look forward to your autumn pictures, RJ.

Popular Posts