Even in SoCal, on this Autumnal Equinox, leaves do fall.
Fall, Leaves, Fall
Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away; Lengthen night and shorten day; Every leaf speaks bliss to me Fluttering from the autumn tree. I shall smile when wreaths of snow Blossom where the rose should grow; I shall sing when night’s decay Ushers in a drearier day.
Here in SoCal, there are unusual excessive heat warnings for the coast; it could reach 105 degrees today. It was 87 degrees at 8:00 a.m. and now it’s 101 at 11:00 a.m. HOT!
The National Weather Service announced red flag warnings for high fire probability with humidity less than ten percent. The forecast also calls for areas of smoke. High heat records are being broken this weekend. Our desert temperatures could exceed 126 degrees. Crazy!
There’s ash on my car and deck from the fire in Alpine, fifty miles away in the east county. I tried to go for a walk at 7:15 and not only was it already too hot, but my breathing was compromised from the smoke so I had to turn back. As of right now, the (named) Valley fire is estimated to have burned 4,000 acres and is 0% contained. Ten structures have been destroyed.
And then I found this, the first one of the season. The first leaf fallen from the mulberry tree. Autumn in SoCal.
I see a few more yellow leaves up there; soon I’ll be raking them up and the branches will be barren.
Sometimes I hear the voice of my poetry professor and search for a poem to illustrate the bittersweet feelings of the changing season. This is a good one by Rossetti.
Autumn Song Know’st thou not at the fall of the leaf How the heart feels a languid grief Laid on it for a covering, And how sleep seems a goodly thing In Autumn at the fall of the leaf?
And how the swift beat of the brain Falters because it is in vain, In Autumn at the fall of the leaf Knowest thou not? and how the chief Of joys seems—not to suffer pain?
Know’st thou not at the fall of the leaf How the soul feels like a dried sheaf Bound up at length for harvesting, And how death seems a comely thing In Autumn at the fall of the leaf? By DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI
In SoCal, we don’t really many trees that change color and lose their leaves, so that’s about one of the only things I miss about the east coast.
But we have year-round beach weather, so it’s not a huge disappointment!
Plus, I can look at this and not have to rake up the leaves, right?
The Falling Leaves
Today, as I rode by,
I saw the brown leaves dropping from their tree
In a still afternoon,
When no wind whirled them whistling to the sky,
But thickly, silently,
They fell, like snowflakes wiping out the noon;
And wandered slowly thence
For thinking of a gallant multitude
Which now all withering lay,
Slain by no wind of age or pestilence,
But in their beauty strewed
Like snowflakes falling on the Flemish clay.