hushed October mornings

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes' sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost--
For the grapes' sake along the wall.
-- Robert Frost

Every October I think of Frost's "October;" I think of 11th grade English and my teacher, Mr. K.; a younger me memorizing this poem. I can see it so clearly; laying on my bed, "Mother Nature's Son," playing softly in the background, reading, rereading and rereading; imagining each line of the poem scrawled across the huge, blank chalkboard of my mind.

This morning as we sat for morning meeting--this is sometimes hard for me to do; getting up before sunrise and cooking gives me this rush of energy, and the last thing I want to do is sit down for a meeting!--as we listened to the lists of today's meetings and appointments and whatnots, the words crept into my head and rolled around. I thought of this poem.

The last of the tomatoes: unripened, green, picked to beat a frost which is to come later this week, were processed: the bigger tomatoes cut into fat slabs and fried; the smaller, seemingly less significant were roasted with spices: oregano, thyme, basil and olive oil; ground into submission in a blender to be turned into a salsa. It was in the whir of the blender that the words of the poem came again, a mantra. Frost understood the watching; last seasons' colors ground to a muted halt. I again thought of this poem.

So, this is my gift to you, may the lovlieness of October always make you think of this poem, or vice versus.


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