I realize October has 31 days, not 30, but it’s Saturday, and Saturday’s a great day to celebrate. So today I’m celebrating like I’m halfway there. Completing a challenge to write on the blog 31 days in a row is no small undertaking. Hence, the word Challenge. 🙂
Today’s poem is also a celebration–a way to commemorate Fall and especially, October. I hope you love it!
by Carl Sandburg
Flame blue wisps in the west,
Wrap yourselves in these leaves
And speak to winter about us.
Tell winter the whole story.
Red leaves up the oaken slabs,
You came little and green spats
Four months ago; your climbers
Put scroll after scroll around
The oaken slabs. “Red, come red,”
Some one with an October paint
Pot said. And here you are,
Fifty red arrowheads of leaf paint
Or fifty pointed thumbprints.
Hold on, the winds are to come
Blowing, blowing, the gray slabs
Will lose you, the winds will
Flick you away in a whiff
One by one, two by two…Yet
I have heard a rumor whispered;
Tattlers tell it to each other
Like a secret everybody knows…
Next year you will come again.
Up the oaken slabs you will put
Your pointed fox footprints
Green in the early summer
And you will be red arrowheads
In the falltime…Tattlers
Slip this into each other’s ears
Like a secret everybody knows.
…If I see some one with an
October paint pot I shall be
Full of respect and say,
“I saw your thumbprints everywhere,
How do you do it?”
I didn’t always love this time of year.
I didn’t love it because it turned the page on Summer and brought a new chill to the air. What I’ve always loved is Summer. Spring too, but mostly because it signals the coming of Summer again.
I guess I’m not only that way with seasons, but with life. Life also comes in seasons.
I spent my entire Spring looking forward to Summer.
Summer would be where my life really began. I would be so big. I would make grand decisions and handle everything the way I wanted. Freedom…remember the smell of freedom when you were young?
I made so many plans in the Spring.
Then Summer came, and it’s been wholly different from what I charted out in my head. But it’s also been everything I could have hoped for and so much more.
With the exception of storms, of course. It’s rained more than I wanted. I’ve jumped in and around all the puddles. I’ve been drenched, sopping wet, mud up to my middle. I’ve closed all the windows, shut and locked doors, and waited out some storms inside.
I’ve had to learn to trust the voice behind the thunder. I’m still learning.
But the beauty of all those sunny days in the 80’s–they were worth the storms, you know? And what the storms left behind? I see now–nothing but the storms can give you certain gifts. They’re irreplaceable.
Here I am in late July, maybe August in my life, depending on how you slice the pie. I’m in this obscure place where you almost want to go back and start the whole Summer over.
You’ve learned so much, and you see so many things you didn’t see before.
You’d do a lot of things differently if you could go around again. You’d do them better.
You’d open your eyes more and see so much beauty in all that chaos. You wouldn’t miss so much next time.
You might try to pick up the remote and press pause more often. Because now you’re full of the sense that these are the days of your life, and they’re passing so fast.
Even so, you can’t help now but look forward to Fall. You look forward with more Hope than you’ve ever held before. By late Summer, you’ve opened the gift of perspective, and you know more is coming.
You know the secret everyone knows–seasons come and go. Out there, they always come back around again.
But life offers only one trip around, and this is it.
So you look forward to red falling leaves and blowing winds and sharing the secrets you’ve been told along the way.
You understand now that only Winter knows the whole story, and knowing is its own kind of reward.
Write about a secret you think everybody knows, but nobody says.