Goodbye to Summer

The long goodbye to summer ended a couple weeks ago when the extended warmth of September turned into a brisk October. The 10-day forecast confirms what we already know here in Minnesota, autumn is short and winter is right around the corner. A hard freeze is just days away, and snow flurries will soon follow.

The end of summer comes with a tinge of sorrow. A familiar melancholy feeling. If we are honest, it feels like reality, and is not all together unwelcome. No more do we need to tend the garden, get outside while the sun shines, or worry about heat, humidity, and mosquitoes—though those pests were largely absent this year due to the drought. There’s another thing we no longer have to worry about–too much or too little rain.

Now, we retreat indoors to make a cup of cocoa, read, watch TV, snuggle under a blanket, and dream of next summer when we will, once again, wiggle our bare toes in the soft, warm sand of the beach and forget the half of the year when such pleasures don’t exist.

Here is a poem that expresses that feeling.

Autumn Song

BY DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI

Know’st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the heart feels a languid grief
Laid on it for a covering,
And how sleep seems a goodly thing
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?

And how the swift beat of the brain
Falters because it is in vain,
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf
Knowest thou not? and how the chief
Of joys seems—not to suffer pain?

Know’st thou not at the fall of the leaf
How the soul feels like a dried sheaf
Bound up at length for harvesting,
And how death seems a comely thing
In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?

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