Saturday, September 21, 2013

Autumn Fires

I lit the fire in the wood cookstove today.  Almost certainly, it will stay lit, until some time next May.

It's our third cookstove; I'm getting around to writing a review about it; soon; now that we've lived with if for 2 full winters and all the rest of the seasons.

This has been a very strange weather year.  Cold, dry, then floods, then over-hot and drought- now we've shifted into- normal weather for the Autumnal Equinox; cool, windy, cloudy- rainy.  Looks consistent enough to move the propane stove out, and we need the heat for comfort, when each night is dropping into the 40s°F.

I found poetry running through my brain, as it tends to when seasons shift.  In this case, a bit that used to be part of all children's education in the English speaking world: Sing a song of seasons! Something bright in all!  Flowers in the summer, Fires in the fall!

Robert Louis Stevenson, A Child's Garden of Verses.  I looked it up, thinking to comment on how spectacularly short he'd made that lovely poem; and discovered- it wasn't quite that short.  Of course.  At least one of my poetry professors would have railed at RLS for not chopping everything but that last bit; it works on its own.  Here in its entirety:

     Autumn Fires

   In the other gardens
   And all up the vale,
   From the autumn bonfires
   See the smoke trail!

   Pleasant summer over
   And all the summer flowers,
   The red fire blazes,
   The grey smoke towers.

   Sing a song of seasons!
   Something bright in all!
   Flowers in the summer,
   Fires in the fall!

It still made sense when I was a kid- we raked up the leaves, and everyone on the block burned them, in the street.  Not exactly bonfires- but still community- the fires were tended carefully; children watched; parents watched, talked; a marshmallow or two would get toasted.

Now of course leaf burning is banned- everywhere I know of.  Yes, it made a lot of smoke.  But.  Something else now gone.  And for me, the "fires in the fall" now are in the stove.  Still a rite of passage; but changed.

Changes.  We've lost two very dear people this past week; both unexpected; both far too soon.

Here's one of my own- for them.

     Forty eight  9/28/96

   Walking my paths

   There was one last

   ready to drop

   fat and sweet
   as any blueberry ever

   simple to pick it
   simple to savor

   rain cleared blue sky above
   wind, bright leaves

   so why was it so painful
   just knowing
   that you love blueberries

   can you comprehend
   the pleasure it would have been

   for me to share
   one blueberry
   with you?


knutty knitter said...

I like that.

It's all pink and white and yellow here - blossom trees doing their thing madly. (the yellow is the kowhai trees)

viv in nz

Greenpa said...

Thanks, Viv. I like hearing about the seasons in the antipodes. : -)