The pasture is brown,
and snow has left the mountains.
But the sky. The sky!
NOTES: Late summer signs are coming early to the Pacific Northwest this year. This past winter we broke a 122 year record for rainfall in Seattle. We got 44.67 inches of rain from October through April. Which was the wettest such stretch since record-keeping began in 1895. (We rack up almost 9 inches in February alone.)
But not to worry. This is the Pacific Northwest. No matter how dry it gets this summer, we know that the rains will return in the fall and remain with us for what seems like forever. So we can relax and appreciate the beauty around us.
I choose to walk the old familiar ways,
To wend ways where I’ve put my foot before,
To gaze anew on views seen other days,
Which, though familiar, never seem to bore.
The changing light and seasons have their ways
Of making old things new: The light-laced hoar,
The first-flush, green-glow, bursting-forth spring days,
The growing tinge of gold we can’t ignore.
Each day, my dear, I choose afresh our trail,
The one we blazed so many years ago,
Eschewing other routes that might avail,
And hewing to the well-worn way we know.
Forsaking novelty need be no jail
With your face bathed in sunset’s golden glow.
NOTES: Thirty-two years of marriage and never a dull moment.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always seen the July 4th holiday as the turning point for summer.
The days have just started to get shorter. The foliage starts to brown, and even though it’s two full months before September, there is a sense that the glorious hurrah of summer will all come to an end all too soon.
It’s worth a look to read the whole poem, but several of the lines are little gems that stand alone. Writing about the song of the little oven bird, Frost says:
He says the early petal-fall is past
When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers,
And, just a couple of lines later,
He says the highway dust is over all.
That is a poignant, dusty image, familiar to anyone who has lived in the country. It signals that the spring rains are definitely over, and you’ve entered that long, hot stretch that ends with the on-coming fall. Time is moving ahead.
The poem wraps up with a wonderful final two lines:
The question that he frames in all but words
Is what to make of a diminished thing.
A good question to ask any time of year, or at any time of life.