The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry's cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.
The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I'll put a trinket on.
In scanograph above: Rosa 'Complicata' hips, top left Rosa 'Abraham Darby', centre Rosa 'Princess Alexandra of Kent' and below Rosa 'Shropshire Lad' 17 October 2020
Because I lived in Argentina during my formative years, my perception of the seasons has always been reversed. Christmas day in Buenos Aires was usually the warmest day of summer.
Then in Mexico the seasons were really two, one was a rainy one and the other was a dry. It has only been in these 45years in Vancouver where I am finally (!) settling to the idea of the Canadian seasons.
But the problem persists as the concept of Thanksgiving (the harvest side of it is important) and Halloween are alien (still so!) to me. While I love squash soup but my Rosemary does not, I do not care for anything related to the pumpkin or the turkey.
Fall in our Kitsilano garden for me (Rosemary is silent about this) is one of watching the inevitable deterioration of our plants as they bid us goodbye until next year. So hope is in the air and this is all but forgotten in the dark, rainy and cold Vancouver winters. Hope returns in the spring.
Because I am an old man and I know that a new pair of shoes will sooner or later get a scuff or that a new car will be inevitably bashed somewhere, I have come to appreciate the handsomeness of plants (not taking into consideration fall leaves) as they decline. Some of my hostas are lovely with their yellowing and the unopened buds of some of my English Roses look just fine to me.
Our Rosa ‘Complicata’ (formerly complicata) is now a virtual tree and it is full of rose hips. Some are blackened as they are past their prime. And randomly there is plenty of “unsightly” black spot.
I like the idea of scanning these rose hips with three of my most faithful roses at this time of the year. They are Rosa ‘Abraham Darby’, Rosa ‘Princess Alexandra of Kent’ and Rosa ‘Shropshire Lad’.
I have no idea if my Buenos Aires-born father had a love for roses. I do know that my grandfather Harry and grandmother Ellen were both born in Manchester. I love the fact that I was able to find this lovely essay on fall from a 19th Century Manchester Guardian.
From the archive, 11 November 1840: The gentle melancholy of autumn
There is an "even-tide" in the year - a season when the sun withdraws his propitious light - when the winds arise, and the leaves fall, and nature around us seems to sink into decay. It is said to be the season of melancholy; and if by this word be meant that it is the time of solemn and serious thought, it is undoubtedly the season of melancholy; yet it is a melancholy so soothing, so gentle in its approach, and so prophetic in its influence, that they who have known it feel, as if instinctively, that it is the doing of God.
A few days ago, and the summer of the year was grateful, and every element was filled with life, and the sun of heaven seemed to glory in his ascendant. He is now enfeebled in his power; the desert no more "blossoms like the rose;" the song of joy is no more heard among the branches; and the earth is strewed with that foliage which once bespoke the magnificence of summer. Whatever may be the passions which society has awakened, we pause amid this apparent desolation of nature. We sit down in the lodge "of the wayfaring man in the wilderness," and we feel that all we witness is the emblem of our own fate. Such, in a few years, will be our own condition. The blossoms of our spring, the pride of our summer, will fade into decay; and the pulse that now beats high, with virtuous or with vicious desire, will gradually sink, and then must stop for ever.
When the winds of autumn sigh around us, their voice speaks not to us only, but to our kind; and the lesson they teach us is not that we alone decay, but that such also is the fate of all the generations of man.
In such a sentiment there is a kind of sublimity mingled with its melancholy; our tears fall, but they fall not for ourselves; and, although the train of our thoughts may have begun with the selfishness of our own concerns, we feel that, by the ministry of some mysterious power, they end in awakening our concern for every being that lives. Yet a few years, and all that now bless, or all that now convulse humanity, will also have perished. The mightiest pageantry of life will pass, the loudest notes of triumph or of conquest will be silent in the grave; the wicked, wherever active, "will cease from troubling," and the weary, wherever suffering, "will be at rest."
Under an impression so profound, we feel our own hearts better. The cares, the animosities, the hatreds, which society may have engendered, sink unperceived from our bosoms. In the general desolation of nature, we feel the littleness of our own passions; we look forward to that kindred evening which time must bring to all; we anticipate the graves of those we hate, as of those we love. Every unkind passion falls with the leaves that fall around us; and we return slowly to our homes and to the society which surrounds us, with the wish only to enlighten or to bless them.
Let, then, the young go out, under the descending sun of the year, into the fields of nature. Their hearts are now ardent with hope; and in the long perspective which is before them, their imagination creates a world where all may be enjoyed. While they see the yearly desolation of nature, let them see it as the emblem of mortal hope; while they feel the disproportion between the powers they possess, and the time they are to be employed, let them carry their ambitious eye beyond the world.
More Emily Dickinson
Yellow she affords
A sepal, petal and a thorn
Her breast is fit for pearls
I would not paint a picture
November left then clambered up
You cannot make remembrance grow
the maple wears a gayer scarf
We turn not older with years, but older
Now I am ready to go
Just as green and as white
It's full as opera
I cannot dance upon my Toes
a door just opened on the street
Amber slips away
When August burning low
Pink Small and punctual
A slash of blue
I cannot dance upon my toes
Ah little rose
For hold them, blue to blue
Linda Melsted - the music of the violin does not emerge alone
The Charm invests her face
A sepal, a petal and a thorn
The Savior must have been a docile Gentleman
T were blessed to have seen
There is no frigate like a book
I pay in satin cash
Water makes many beds
The viola da gamba
But sequence ravelled out of reach
A parasol is the umbrella's daughter
Without the power to die
Lessons on the piny
Ample make this bed
How happy is the little stone
The shutting of the eye
I dwell in possibility
when Sappho was a living girl
In a library
A light exists in spring
The lady dare not lift her veil
I took my power in my hand
I find my feet have further goals
I cannot dance upon my toes
The Music of the Violin does not emerge alone
He touched me, so I live to know
Rear Window- The Entering Takes Away
Said Death to Passion
We Wear the Mask That Grins And Lies
It was not death for I stood alone
The Music in the Violin Does Not Emerge Alone
I tend my flowers for thee
Lavinia Norcross Dickinson
Pray gather me anemone!
Ample make her bed
His caravan of red
Me-come! My dazzled face
Develops pearl and weed
But peers beyond her mesh
Surgeons must be very careful
Water is taught by thirst
I could not prove that years had feet
April played her fiddle
A violin in Baize replaced
I think the longest hour
The spirit lasts