Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Landscape Now Wholly Autumnal

It is a year since I last visited the writing cabin of Edwin Way Teale on a Saturday morning in late October. The companion with whom I had traveled to the writer’s two-hundred-year-old farm in northwest Connecticut took this picture of me without my knowing.

“A landscape now wholly autumnal,” to use words from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s journal. The words are quoted by Lawrence Raab in his own poem “Hawthorne on His Way Home.” I have written about Raab’s poem more than once in this blog over the years.

It is a landscape in keeping with the man walking down the road. It is a landscape in keeping with a man walking away from a part of his history. The winter that would follow this solemn autumn afternoon might benefit from a steady companion, but it might just as well be faced alone, standing outside the familiar comforts, snow falling.

I know now that I was frightened this time last year. I was a man sixty years old and in a month I would turn sixty-one. It may not seem a big difference in age, but for someone who had just spent months getting used to his fifties’ being over, the approach of sixty-one was a definitive move into the new decade.

I am much less frightened after the year that has passed.


John said...

Friends and family who are more deeply into their sixties are allowed a bemused chuckle at this posting.

Anonymous said...

Et oui les années passent !!

Parlez nous de votre séjour à Paris.

Jo d'Avignon

Ur-spo said...

I imagine New England is the ideal place for autumn and Hallowe'en.

Bobby Caldwell said...

Words and autumn leaves; very nice to read this. I have followed your blog and enjoy it. I have read just about everything Edwin Way Teale has written. I wish I'd been with you there in the Connecticut forest and paths of Trail Wood. And, yes, the age thing, well it bothers some more than others, I think. I'm going to be 59 years in Jan. It does bother me, as well. Take care, good health, keep writing strong, peace. -Bobby C.