The ripe October light.

In the fall, the fresh air and thin, slanted light combine to put so many things in a new, or renewed, perspective. When I read the poem below, I found myself searching my surroundings for images that fit the poet’s words.

Down at the creek I had seen the leaves starting to turn, so I took their picture. But between now and then I’ve noticed so many other things even closer by that are infused with energy, and at the same time invite me to an intangible, but most real, resting place.

The sky bright after summer-ending rain,
I sat against an oak half up the climb.
The sun was low; the woods was hushed in shadow;
Now the long shimmer of the crickets’ song
Had stopped. I looked up to the westward ridge
And saw the ripe October light again,
Shining through leaves still green yet turning gold.
Those glowing leaves made of the light a place
That time and leaf would leave. The wind came cool,
And then I knew that I was present in
The long age of the passing world, in which
I once was not, now am, and will not be,
And in that time, beneath the changing tree,
I rested in a keeping not my own.

-Wendell Berry, from A Timbered Choir

12 thoughts on “The ripe October light.

  1. Oh my, you are on a roll, G.J.. I love the photographs, the poetry selection, and your title. Such uplifting reading and looking, especially because I have been home bound for a few weeks. I’m glad that you continue to produce pieces like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I adore Wendell Berry’s words, there is such wise soothing in them. Although it is difficult to find any of his anthologies here, I will often read his poems online or watch an online video of him speaking or reading his own work. Beautiful photos of your October light! Meg:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such beauty all around you. I’m fond of Wendell Berry. I “get” him. Enjoy all that October ripeness, Gretchen. I enjoy seeing it through your eyes and words.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The day started out clear and chilly but by the afternoon that ‘ripe October light’ was shining onto the porch and for a few hours it almost felt like summer again.

    Lovely pictures, especially the gorgeous blue Iris.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Emily Dickinson’s poem that uses that “a certain slant of light” line pops into my head often, too. WB is so true, so good. The light beams are promises and reassurances. We know the Light. We are filled with light. I love the glimpses.
    I can’t WAIT to see you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nicolas mentioned to us in the choir this year something about the Russians noting “Transfiguration Light” at the time of the Feast. There is something about mid-August when the first hint of Fall lightly makes itself known, even while the heat of summer still prevails. It seems to me that the Transfiguration Light is the thing that starts it off.


    Liked by 1 person

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