To Autumn by William Blake
O Autumn, laden with fruit, and stainèd
With the blood of the grape, pass not, but sit
Beneath my shady roof; there thou may’st rest,
And tune thy jolly voice to my fresh pipe,
And all the daughters of the year shall dance!
Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers.
`The narrow bud opens her beauties to
The sun, and love runs in her thrilling veins;
Blossoms hang round the brows of Morning, and
Flourish down the bright cheek of modest Eve,
Till clust’ring Summer breaks forth into singing,
And feather’d clouds strew flowers round her head.
`The spirits of the air live on the smells
Of fruit; and Joy, with pinions light, roves round
The gardens, or sits singing in the trees.’
Thus sang the jolly Autumn as he sat;
Then rose, girded himself, and o’er the bleak
Hills fled from our sight; but left his golden load.
It was 21 years in the Seattle area that taught me to cherish the October sun….it was so rare, perhaps 3 days of glorious sunshine out of 30 would be lucky at that time of year. Oh, the gray and cold-raw winters that seemed to start in September and refused to end until near July. It was not like the weather was extremely cold or icy. It was just raw and dull gray. It was horrible! Many people in the Northern climates, particularly those areas with extended periods of low-light levels (residents of Nordic countries and the Arctic Circle, and low coastal regions of the far Northern Hemisphere that are prone to many days of fog and gray weather — like Seattle), suffer from what psychologists have termed SAD (Season Affective Disorder). Contrary to what the prevailing opinion among medical professionals may suggest, there are many non-drug treatments that are effective at helping people cope with the depression issues related to low light levels. I firmly believe that solutions to medical problems are rarely solved with a pill. Light therapy, herbal teas and vitamin supplements, along with limiting one’s intake of white flour, white sugar and other highly processed foods can be very helpful in reducing depression.
Fortunately, this area of eastern Pennsylvania experiences a full four seasons.
Winters are cold and we may have periods of snow accumulations up to 2 feet or more( 60.9 cm.). Ice storms and periods of prolonged, severe cold 0 to 10 degrees or colder F.(-12.22 to -17.77 C.) in deep winter. Travel can be unpredictable and treacherous during these months. Some winters are more mild than others, but they are the exception to prove the rule.
Spring is a mix of wind and rain, sometimes with ice or snow, with periods of freezing, thawing and flooding. There comes a noticeable increase of the number of daylight hours at this time of year and the return of songbirds is abundantly clear even if you don’t crack your window open!
Summers can range in the early season from warm and rainy (sometimes with thunderstorms) to sultry and intolerably hot and humid (over 95 F [35 C ] with extremely high humidity) in the thick of “the dog days“. This past summer was quite dry and now we are behind the average rainfall accumulation. We really do need some rain to fill the wells.
Autumn is probably my favorite time of year! The daytime temperatures can be warm or cooler, with nights dropping to cool or even chilly/cold with a chance of frost. The hot days are over until the next summer. The autumn colors are a delight for the eyes. The air is filled with a musty-earthy scent carried along with hints of wood smoke on the wind. The garden is still producing a harvest of later season crops and the long season crops that won’t be harvested until nearly the onset of winter. October can be absolutely gorgeous!
On a recent early morning walk, I stumbled into this view along with the one above titled “foggy morn”. The other three pics were taken the same day in the late afternoon..
In this article from last year I wrote about poetry and the change in seasons. Near the end of that article you may read one of my poems that is fitting for this time of year. And finally, something from the Academy of American Poets, a link for a free sign-up to get poetry in your mailbox daily.