Fall is the perfect season for taking a walk (or getting in the car to explore the changing countryside.) The crisp coolness of the air brings a sparkling clarity; trees shed their leaves, unveiling vistas cloaked by summer's impentrable layers of green; the change of light on the hills ushers in a sense of the magical. It's that expectancy of enchantment that is captured in the short poem below.
An Autumn Day
Eleanor Myers Jewett
"On such a day each road is planned
To lead to some enchanted land;
Each turning meets expectancy.
The signs I read on every hand.
I know by autumn's wizardry
On such a day the world can be
Only a great glad dream for me--
Only a great glad dream for me!"
- Eleanor Myers Jewett,An Autumn Day
A very different sort of feel is captured by the second "walking" poem I've posted. Here, the speaker resonates with the sense of loss that often comes in autumn, as birds migrate south, dead leaves rustle underfoot and the grasses sigh plaintively. Leaning into this melancholy, the walker finds it the perfect companion for his deep, indescribable longings.
Mortimer Crane Brown
I know the year is dying,
Soon the summer will be dead.
I can trace it in the flying
Of the black crows overhead;
I can hear it in the rustle
Of the dead leaves as I pass,
And the south wind's plaintive sighing
Through the dry and withered grass.
Ah, 'tis then I love to wander,
Wander idly and alone,
Listening to the solemn music
Of sweet nature's undertone;
Wrapt in thoughts I cannot utter,
Dreams my tongue cannot express,
Dreams that match the autumn's sadness
In their longing tenderness.
Whether you're invigorated by the fall, or find it tugging at a brooding sense of longing, an autumn walk may be just the thing for the weekend. I hope it will be as pleasant where you live as it finally promises to be here in Pennsylvania. We'll be out walking by the Yellow Breeches ourselves, come Sunday afternoon.