Monthly Archives: November 2012

Unleaving

This mornings walk took me through sunshine, ice, frost and falling poplar leaves. The poplars make a beautiful sound as the wind riffles through them, detaching that last tenuous link and delivering them to the woodland floor. There they lie, making their brief glorious tapestry of colour before boot and nature breaks them down into leaf-mould, a universal colour brown. It reminds me of what happens to the colours in plasticine when it is all modged up together – brown!
We have had a first flurry of snow this week – an hour or so of dense big flakes. Very unusual this time of year, but exciting!
It’s certainly moving us swiftly into winter, and these last few days of leaves must be treasured until next spring.
There are still a few flowers blooming in the fields, stretching out their life cycle – I saw knotweed, nipplewort, red clover and hedgerow cranesbill still trying for a late pollination.
Mr and Mrs Cronkite flew overhead – they do like to draw attention to their passing – Cronk! Cronk!

This poem came into my head as I walked through the falling leaves – very appropriately addressed to me, by Gerard Manly Hopkins…

Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What héart héard of, ghóst guéssed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

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