Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Older Sister

Spring is a girl clad in pink flounces. She skips, she flirts - shares secrets, tells lies. Her thoughts are like air and with barefoot steps she treads on the wildflowers. She misplaces her warm hours and never wonders where they’ve gone. She sings herself to sleep.

Autumn is her older sister, wearing heathered tweed. Her colours, like her dreams, are richer, more intense, and although she knows they will fade to ice and silver in the season yet to come, she serenely paints her masterpiece in furbelows of orange, burnt by the September sun, with an arabesque of scarlet, and a bagatelle of forest green.
She gathers her joys round her like the handsome woolen shawls her own two hands have made. With memory in the warp and hope in the weft, they feel soft against her skin, they gift her with a secret smile. She pulls her chair up hearthside and reads tall tales by the flickering flame - tales of legend and of myth, of ancient pathways through the mountains, of castles floating on the sea.
She drinks in delicious perfumes that are hers, and hers alone - the scent of apples, of cinnamon, of rain. Her hours are set aglow with a celebratory fire made from all the many sunny days now past; it is a fire stoked with gratitude and tended with anticipation, for she knows it provides all the warmth she will need for the colder days to come.

How sad a year would be without her visit - how colourless, how pale.
In a gust of wind, amid swirling leaves, she will arrive at my gate this afternoon.
My door is open to welcome her.

"No Spring nor Summer beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one Autumnal face."
John Donne