Monday, November 28, 2011

Reflections On November--A Season of Gold

As November draws to a close I thought I would share this lovely poem with you all.  The unusually warm and wet month has lead to some very dramatic weather--highlighting the natural beauty of our Chester County landscape.  Its been a month since the CSA ended, so I have had plenty of time for walks and appreciation of the varied terrain at Inverbrook.  When I read this poem it had a particularly strong resonance with the month and my recent observations--a month full of gold.


Suddenly all the gold I ever wanted
Let loose and fell on me.  A storm of gold
Starting with rain a quick sun catches falling
And in the rain (fall within fall) a whirl
Of yellow leaves, glitter of paper nuggets.

And there were puddles the sun was winking at
And fountains saucy with goldfish, fantails, sunfish,
And trout slipping streams it would be insult
To call gold and, trailing their incandescent
Fingers, meteors and a swimming moon.

Flowers of course.  Chrysanthemums and clouds
of twisted cool witch-hazel and marigolds,
Late dandelions and all the goldenrods.
And bees all pollen and honey, wasps gold-banded
And hornets dangling their legs, cursing the sun.

The luminous birds, goldfinches and orioles,
Were gone or going, leaving some of their gold
Behind in near-gold, off-gold, ultra-golden
Beeches, birches, maples, apples.  And under
The appletrees the lost, the long-lost names.

Pumpkins and squashes heaped in a cold-gold sunset--
Oh, I was crushed like Croesus, Midas-smothered
And I died in a maple-fall a boy was raking
Nightward to burst all bonfire-gold together--
And leave tat last in a thin blue prayer of smoke.

-Robert Francis
Thanksgiving snuck up on me this year.  We did not raise many turkeys, so I was spared the typical busy chaos associated with distributing the culinary focal piece for this very important meal.  Strangly I was feeling a little less spirited about the holiday; a holiday that I usually relish in.  The themes of thankfulness, family and food--are all very important to me.  Thanksgiving morning I took a walk to the top of our hill to pick bittersweet and was once again struck with the peace and beauty embodied in our lovely local landscape. 
The time spent outside on such a lovely day quickly brought on a sense of thankfulness appropriate for the holiday.  My walk ended near the beehives (kept at the farm by beekeeper Dan B.) where I paused to watch their busy activity--thinking of the stores of golden honey inside of the hive.  My Thanksgiving spirit had been renewed in the observation of bees and their magical transformation of the landscape to sweet delicious sustenance-the metaphors are endless. 
As December is sure to bring cooler weather and a more barren landscape--I will hold on to the golden thoughts of November, ever thankful for the warm beauty of nature. 

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