Monday, September 26, 2016

The Turning of the Mighty Oak

The oak tree towered above the yard long before that little plot of land was a yard. For most of the year it was either swathed in deep green or skeletal and bare - a large arm with hundreds of bony fingers grasping at clouds. But when autumn came it was on fire.

The leaves blazed maroon, orange and yellow and they were set in front of an amazing backdrop of blue. Burn-your-eyes azure framed the oak, a halo to a holy site. A week perhaps, maybe two, was all we had to worship at the trunk. This shrine of nature beckoned for attention, demanded awe and inspired leaf gathering and daydreaming.

Many times I tried to photograph it but majesty refused confinement in film. My feeble attempts at art could not imitate life. The lens dulled the blue and extinguished the leaves.

Autumn is a fleeting season in middle Georgia. We gulp down the cooling days. Yards smell of fleeing summer and the nights of cider and bonfires. Pools are closed, bathing suits hung to dry one last time and out come sweaters, jeans and flannel.

Contrary to popular belief, we do know what snow is and occasionally we must bundle up against it. True, Georgia is spared bitterly cold winters but it does get cold to us. When most of your year's low temperatures are somewhere between 80 and 89 degrees, anything below 50 is freezing!

Fall is a gentle leaning away from torrid summers and into the chill to come. The glory of the oak is summer's fierce farewell and that brilliant, chilling blue reminds us that winter, however fleeting, is soon to come.

10 comments:

  1. Sorry you could never capture a picture of it.
    I like the cold, so it has to be really freezing to feel like freezing to me.

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    1. Cold and I have a like/hate relationship. I like it to cool off and give a bit of respite from the sweltering summers but after Christmas I'm tired of it. Not to mention my muscles and joints HATE the cold and give me fits until those first warm days appear.

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  2. Such a word-capture of a glorious day! I love this: "We gulp down the cooling days."

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    1. Thank you so much, Susan! I'm definitely pining for those cooling days now.

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  3. One state south, we never get the turning of the leaves. It's kind of sad in a way, but there are other perks.

    Your writing was absolutely gorgeous! Beautiful description and such longing, such well wrought emotion. I loved it.

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    1. As much as I'd love to be warmer, I know I'd miss the leaves turning! We don't get a long autumn, but I love what we get.

      Thank you so much! I really appreciate it :)

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  4. There was an oak tree in the front yard of the home where I grew up. I used to climb in it and read books. :) But it was knocked over during a hurricane many years ago. Seeing it down broke my heart.

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    1. Oh that's hard. I hated it when this tree's top came down in a storm years ago. It's always sad to see a gorgeous tree topple.

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  5. Autumn is my favourite season. And, yes! film often can't compete with the real thing.

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