Wednesday, August 13, 2008

In A New Light

It was subtle, but it was there. Walking past the dining room windows one morning this past weekend, I saw it. Unmistakable. A change in the light. Sharper, clearer, the sun came through the lace in a different way. Not the languid, hazy summer sun that usually drapes the house in August. But the brilliant, incandescent light of autumn. Trying to make it stay, I opened all the windows so the blessed wind could race through the house, from my office in the back where the birds were happily feasting on their breakfast at the blue glass feeder, all the way down the main hallway, through the coffee fragrant kitchen, past the unmade bed, and out past the vases of lilies in the library. It was glorious. Oh, do not question, it is coming! Fall. Cinderella pumpkins and witches hats. Crisp apples and cold mornings. Long and longer walks in the wind. Warm furry dogs on my feet by the fire. Yes, it’s on the way. Already one can see the unscuffed little shoes standing at the bus stops on their way once more to school.

I have always felt that the powers that be made a dreadful mistake when they declared January as the start of a new year. Oh, it should be September, shouldn’t it? Forever, that has seemed the month of new beginnings to me. My heart beats a happier rhythm whenever I see the rows of new school supplies lining store shelves. All those unwritten pages, all those still-sharp pencils. All those fresh starts.

Oh, I know there’s yet a bit of summer left. I will experience a few more heavy, humid days. But, I cannot be fooled. It’s coming. Just like in Mary Poppins, one morning, very soon, the wind will change. It will blow the weathervane around to a completely different direction and I will rise to a luminous, unspoiled beginning, with new roads to take, new pages to turn. In preparation, I’m off to buy a sparkling handfull of brand-new colored pencils.

by Brendan Kennelly.

Begin again to the summoning birds
to the sight of light at the window,
begin to the roar of morning traffic
all along Pembroke Road.
Every beginning is a promise
born in light and dying in dark
determination and exaltation of springtime
flowering the way to work.
Begin to the pageant of queuing girls
the arrogant loneliness of swans in the canal
bridges linking the past and the future
old friends passing though with us still.
Begin to the loneliness that cannot end
since it perhaps is what makes us begin,
begin to wonder at unknown faces
at crying birds in the sudden rain
at branches stark in the willing sunlight
at seagulls foraging for bread
at couples sharing a sunny secret
alone together while making good.
Though we live in a world that dreams of ending
that always seems about to give in
something that will not acknowledge conclusion
insists that we forever begin.

Painting above : Autumn Light by Martin Decent