W.W. Merwin wrote the loveliest poem about a morning in Autumn. He painted a picture with his words about the sounds he heard and formed a shape to his experience.

…I come slowly to hearing
then all at once too quickly
for surprise I hear something
and think I remember it
and will know it afterward…

We know that fall in the Southeast comes late and slow. And yet it is a surprise to me, anyway, that my newly planted (well, in the late spring) Dogwood tree is beginning to show the effects of the summer. It is drooping a bit (well, more than a bit), and that worries me some. I have been outside watering it every day, early and late, so as not to stress the vulnerability of its adaptation to our backyard. It does seem very fragile, being so slight. And this summer’s heat has been brutal, it seems. I’m rooting for it (I love these tree metaphors, don’t you?). I grew up under the shade and shadow of a magnificent backyard Dogwood. I’d like ours to flourish.


This early Autumn morning, I am continuing to celebrate the release of a book that has been years in the making in my mind and heart (it was released in late July). Yet, what I hear is the sound, the barest echo, of my movement to the NEXT BIG THING (I haven’t used capitals in so many years – this is so freeing!). Hmmm. Really, I’m not surprised by this at all. I get restless, and seek more. I had a delightful conversation with a therapist recently. She wants it all – the certifications, the knowledge, the wisdom of experience to go with it – right now. And, as we discussed with rueful smiles and no surprise, “having it all” may mean just not getting it all at once. And, well, quite possibly not at all. I know that.

There is that feeling that Winter is coming, and yes, it is. And yet we should take all the time we need this Autumn, to enjoy every bit of watering, delicious sight and sound, and take ownership of each of our moments.

Land gently, everyone (thank you, Connie Schultz, for your delicate and powerful phrasing). Land gently and remember what is most important to you.



https://hellopoetry.com/poem/14492/a-morning-in-autumn/ by W. W. Merwin from Migration: New and Selected Poems © Copper Canyon Press, 2007.