Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Autumn Leaves

There have been a few windy days on the cliff and the trees are more bare than ever. Plenty of crunchy leaves underfoot of every colour of gold. Squirrels rustling in the undergrowth, busy collecting the tricornered beech nuts sprung free from their prickly cases.

I had my encounter with urban wildlife today after walking up the steep steps from school - my neighbour's cat in a small tree by the path looking like he couldn't go up or down. "Meow!" he said to me a trifle piteously. And seeing that he is always being told not to pee in my garden, it was a direct appeal to my previously non-existent sympathies. "Come on," I said, offering my arm as he inched along an ever-bendy girth-decreasing twig. Perhaps he could feel me smiling at his predicament in my mind. He tried not to struggle too hard at the indignity and I escaped with a very small scratch to my chin (for although it was a small tree, alas for me, it was a little over my head). Stalking off quite ungratefully afterwards. Still, needs must, on one's rounds in the universe.

Speaking of more urban wildlife, I was also lucky enough to see the peregrine falcons circling on the thermals above St.John's steeple where they have a nesting box. In the summer you can hear the harsh and raucous cries of the chicks, waiting for food. Plenty of fat pigeon here for them!

I love autumn - time of the earth, when the leaves are settling back into the loam. mmm. Here's one of my favourite poems from Gerard Manley Hopkins:

Spring and Fall

to a young child

MÁRGARÉT, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás the heart grows older 5
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name: 10
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for. 15


Kenny Mah said...

I remember how much you like leaves and autumn. This is simply... perfect. I can almost smell it... autumn. :)

msiagirl said...

Kenny: I do! I do! :)