We went to the park the other day. Storing up the sunshine of these beautiful days while we can, like squirrels with their nuts. The ups and downs of the meadows and trees, the glint of the sun on the tiny river and all around, little inhabitants of our world, scurrying to save stores for a cold winter. The park was full of scampering feet and half-glimpsed little chipmunks and squirrels, a few late monarchs enjoying the flowers and sunshine of early October and some ducks intent on sharing the loot of a solitary fisherman. Fall’s beauty is fleeting.
I found a poem I really liked, about autumn, from poet Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926). The translation is from the German by Scott Stewart, 2017. I’ve accompanied it with my drawings of our park visit.
It is time, Lord. Summer was grand.
Now lay your shadow on the day,
and bathe your fields in the wind.
Let the late harvest linger.
Give it two more southern days.
Make it full and bring her
final sweetness into those heavy vines.
If you have no house now, you never will have one.
If you are alone now, you will always live alone,
Reading late in the fading light. Writing letters with no end.
Wandering dark alleys.
Restless and uneasy. A leaf on the wind.