The grey cat crouches
in the lush October grass,
wary and alert.
I’ve been a bit busy lately so this one is getting posted a few days after the photo was taken and the poem written. But here in the Pacific Northwest, the grass stays green all winter, so that hasn’t changed much. The grass is even greener now than in the peak of summer, when things often get a bit dry.
Funny thing, I can go for weeks without seeing a cat on my evening walks, but one day in October, it seemed like every cat in town was outside, either lurking in the foliage or dozing in the fast-departing patches of late afternoon sun.
They seemed to sense, like I, that the autumn rains would be coming soon. We all were taking advantage of the last dry days of Indian Summer.
This Thanksgiving morning we awoke to a nice frost here in Western Washington. We don’t get frost all that often in this gentle, marine climate, so it’s beautiful and rare treat. Just one more thing to be thankful for today.
Here’s a little poem of thanksgiving written many years ago on another frosty day.
FROST IN MORNING
When the willow world is with hoarfrost hung,
And the white fog lifts leaving trees bright new,
The foliage flashes with a crystal clue
Of how the world looked when light first leaped young.
Before man’s weight and weakness had begun
To break the branch or bruise the sodden slough,
The garden grew unburdened, bathed in dew,
Grew like a canticle, perfectly sung.
Afternoon in late September
Shows us signs we both can follow,
Shadows where there were no shadows
Days before, encroach on meadows,
Turning brittle brown and yellow.
Six o’clock’s a dying ember
Causing grown men to remember
Another fall’s disturbing echo.
When, unnoticed, fell the first leaves,
Yellow elm leave tired of sunshine?
Who suspected seeing such ease
When the first chill stunned the green vine?
Is embarrassment the reason
Sumac’s crimson hides its poison?
When was foliage last so supine?
Rainy night in mid-October
Brings the icy confirmation —
Twigs encased in shiny coffins
Clenched in cold that never softens.
Even daylight’s ministration
Alters no repose so sober
As the sleep of mid-October,
Sleep of spreading desolation