I Meant to Do my Work Today
by Richard Le Gallienne
I meant to do my work today
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.
And the wind went sighing over the land,
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand--
So what could I do but laugh and go?
I could not let the first day of October get by without acknowledging it. October begins my favorite time of the year: October 1—January 1. The last several years, I have found myself skipping lightly over September, a month that has held some sadness for my husband and me. September redeems itself, however, by ushering in fall—a cozy, happy time of year for so many of us who appreciate cool weather and a soft, muted, more comfortable feel to life. That, and the fact that we see a bit more of family this time of year. I love traditions and occasions.
We’ve been buying pumpkins and chrysanthemums, considering how big a turkey to buy this year, and cleaning out decorations from the Christmas “pantry.” That is, we do these things until the brown bird starts singing in an apple tree, and a butterfly flits across our path. We plan to travel some more this fall, our favorite time “to laugh and go.” I have a writing conference in Arkansas, and Kentucky and Ohio are calling us. Oklahoma will probably make its way into our plans as well. We will see how it all goes, knowing Robert Burns’ admonition about the “best laid plans of mice and men.”
by Robert Frost
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.
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.
For the grapes' sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
whose cluttered fruit must else be lost--
For the grapes sake along the wall.
2 thoughts on “October and Beyond”
To me there is an urgency about fall. The unrelenting advance of night, the reaping of harvest, and the return to the seriousness of life bring within me both a sense of completeness and an uneasy anticipation. The migration of butterflies and birds remind me that lives well lived require the ability to accept change as a part of nature.
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Something about your comment brings to mind the Dylan Thomas poem “Do not go gentle into that good night,” in which he admonishes his reader to “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” There is that element to fall as the light dims and the days shorten—an ending, as all things must end. But then, I like winter, too, and try to think of fall as a softening of the light when our craziness has time to rest. Thanks for the comment.
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