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Monday, October 1, 2007

October Gave A Party

the leaves by hundreds came

Philip over at Carpe Canem notes that as a child he used to be more attuned to the seasons changing and his grandmother's custom of decorating the house with seasonal flowers. I expect he's right in that children can often look with wonderment at natural phenomenon in a more intense way than adults do. Adults are "use" to the changes, so often times we "forget" to really LOOK.

I took this picture in Northampton, Pa in late October a number of years back. I expect I can find better examples elsewhere - but this is a picture I like because you can see scarlet, red, orange, yellow and green all on the same tree.

I can't say I enjoy it getting darker now that fall is here, but I do miss gathering the fall leaves and putting them in a bowl of water to enjoy as I did when I was young. We don't have much of a fall here in southern California - the changes of season being much more subtle - i.e. drought, fire, monsoon, mudslide, earthquake, then drought again. When I was about 8, we were given a small book of poems to memorize. I do not know if children today learn this poem, but outside of Mother Goose Rhymes, this is the first poem I remember learning:

October’s Party
by George Cooper

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came.
The Chestnuts, Oaks and Maples,
And leaves of every name.

The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.

The Chestnuts came in yellow,
The Oaks in crimson dressed;
The lovely Misses maple
In scarlet looked their best.

All balanced to their partners,
And gaily fluttered by;
The sight was like a rainbow
New fallen from the sky.

Then in the rustic hollow
At hide-and-seek they played;
The party closed at sundown
And everybody stayed.

Professor Wind played louder;
They flew along the ground;
And then the party ended
In jolly "hands around."


Aimee said...

Ah, Northampton, PA - home of the K-Kids and only a stone's throw from me :)

gemoftheocean said...

:-D Figured it was pretty close to you. Do you live in Catty? ;-D

[For the uninitiated the Northampton/Catasauqua football Turkey Day classic is one of the oldest continuous high school rivalries in the country.]

Aimee said...

No, I'm not in Catty - I live closer to Coplay, but my BIL grew up as a K-Kid and they come down from NY every Thanksgiving. We give him Northampton sweatshirts for Christmas sometimes, just to keep him grounded :)

gemoftheocean said...

Aimee, depending on your BIL's last name, I bet it's familiar to me if they were around a long time. I've been through the Amptennians and know a lot of those names in the cemetery, from virtually "playing" in it when I was little. I had an uncle who was "captain of the football team" in the 40s - another uncle who played 1st string in the early 60s, and a cousin who played 1st string in the early 70s, and another cousin who sat on his *$$ in the late 70s. [Although, come to think of it, he may have stole a few hubcaps during the game.] :-D One other cousin who souped up everyone's car, and his brother was 1st string chess club. [loser! ;-D] And, duh, my cousin Rosemary has a field hockey "N" and her older two brothers also graduated from there. Some of my cousin's kids also were there. I don't think either of those towns have reached 10k yet.

My grandmother lived on Lincoln ave. And 3 other aunts lived within a block or two of my grandmother. Just south of the cemeteries at the south end of town. I still think of the tract houses south of the cemetery as "new" though they must be there for a good 25 years now. It used to be a big corn field we "acquired" corn from to use for Halloween tick-tacking. I still have 2 aunts living there and 1 uncle, and a few cousins in Northampton. My mother was born on a small farm near Coplay - it looked like tract homes were making their way out that way, so I don't know if it's fallen to the lure of a buy out for the land. But after my grandmother died, my older cousin and I got curious to "see the farm" where most of my mother's generation was born. They had a good 5+ miles to walk every Sunday to St. John's.

Anonymous said...

Fall is my favorite season. I love the crisp cold air--the crackly leaves under your feet, and the lawn speckled with color--I hate to rake them up--they are so beautiful. The smell of fire from fireplaces starts to fill the air, flowers are still blooming everything is so vibrant and full of color. Fall baking spicy pumpkin pies and harvesting the last of the grapes. Taking rides in the mountains--enveloping your senses surrounded by pine scented trees intermixed with vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows--oh, my--I love Fall!

gemoftheocean said...

Fall is much better in a place that has more radical changes in the weather - I used to enjoy it much more. But I rejoice when I run across trees that change color and usually I try to get up to Julian (in our back country in the mountains) a little over 5,000 ft. in elevation. It wouldn't be fall not to go up there personally for some Apple pie and Apple cider.

Father John Boyle said...

Stunning photo.

Tamara said...

Thank you for posting George Cooper's October poem. As I child I learned the poem as a song. Ever since, I have sung it with my childhood friends, my preschool students over the last 28 years, eventually to my husband and my own 3 children.
I am eager to sing it to my first Grandchild (due this spring). It has become a fun little ritual for me to sing it to anyone who happens to be with me every October 1st! Thank you for providing ALL the stanzas! Happy Autumn!

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