'If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and, prospectively, to equally profound sadness.' Marjorie Garber

Friday, 9 September 2011

'Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness...'

I'm feeling in a reflective mood today, rediscovering my love of poetry and dwelling in the past...

So Summer has finally bid us farewell until next year. I feel as though she didn't really visit this year at all. She just dipped her slender bronzed toes into our climate every now and then, teased us with some fleeting rays of warmth and then ran away. Wasn't it dreary? Some of you out there in Blogland have had quite respectable Summers in other parts of the UK, but on the whole, my Summer has been wet and cold...

It's not that I don't like Autumn, far from it. I love the colours of golden leaves and the scrunch scrunch of fallen cobnuts under my feet. Wandering in the garden, gathering the orchard fruits in huge basketfuls, and this year, for the first time since I was at school, making jam from my own damsons. 

Yes, Autumn is a glorious season as nature prepares to snuggle up and build reserves for the coming Winter. But I don't just see Autumn as the end of Summer or the end of green trees and butterfly filled meadows. I see it is as the beginning of a new year in many ways.

Youngest daughter has gone back to school for her final year, full of expectation for the future and I am reluctantly counting the days until Eldest Daughter leaves for London and her new life at University. How I wish I could take the past nineteen years and bottle them, preserve them like my damsons. I would  keep the rosy scent of innocence and beauty as I snuggled my nose into my daughters's soft tresses to say 'goodnight' and mix it with the tears of joy and pride which rolled down my cheeks with every accomplished milestone and achievement over the years.  And when I was feeling down or lonely, I would open the bottle and breathe deeply, and I would be back in those days again...
Yes, that would be my ultimate dream. However, perhaps the future will have a sweeter scent. I'll hold my breath and see...

'It is small advantage for eyes to see
If the heart is blind.
The great world brims over with his glory,
yet he may only dwell
where a person chooses to give him entrance.'

Burnt Norton


Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
                                   But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
                                   Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
Round the corner. Through the first gate,
Into our first world, shall we follow
The deception of the thrush? Into our first world.
There they were, dignified, invisible,
Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,
In the autumn heat, through the vibrant air,
And the bird called, in response to
The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,
And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
Had the look of flowers that are looked at.
There they were as our guests, accepted and accepting.
So we moved, and they, in a formal pattern,
Along the empty alley, into the box circle,
To look down into the drained pool.
Dry the pool, dry concrete, brown edged,
And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight,
And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly,
The surface glittered out of heart of light,
And they were behind us, reflected in the pool.
Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty.
Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,
Hidden excitedly, containing laughter.
Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind
Cannot bear very much reality.
Time past and time future
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.

Excerpt from The Four Quartets, T S Eliot


  1. Beautiful words of your own as well as those of the poem. Best way to look at Autumn I think is as a new beginning...lovely post thank you.

  2. I'd also like to bottle my boys' childhood. They're growing up too fast - way too fast.

    The other thing I'd like to capture and save is summer - then I could release bits of sunshine in the midst of the filthy grey winter that is on its way and that I am dreading.

    We didn't actually have much of a summer either - I feel utterly cheated!

  3. Love that first photo, yes Autumn is well and truly here.As I type I am looking out at the Tor which is blurred by mist and drizzle.
    I was particularly touched by what you write about your daughter, my son is 22 and I would give anything to have him back as a baby and live those years again xx

  4. Beautiful post. I love Autumn but this one brings big changes with my daughter leaving home & son into his final year at secondary school. Changing times in our lives but ones we must accept & endure with the inevitability of the changing seasons.

  5. Lovely words :-) and pictures :-)
    I like to think of Autumn as a beginning and a time for making resolutions rather than in dark and dreary old January. Gathering seeds, ploughing the fields - all feels like a fresh start.
    The statistics show that this summer was the coldest for a couple of decades - though to me it doesn't really seem any worse than last year was! I put the heating on in August last year, for a couple of days !!
    Enjoy the mellowness of the season - enjoy the fruit of your trees :-)

  6. I love that greyed shot - and your sentiment and wishes...nthroughout your post... as for that shot - a t-shirt, a bag, a curtain, a throw... how lovely that shot would be in a fabric. Love Helen x