Ode to October

‘Autumn is complete in itself. It is no mere transition or preparation, and certainly no aftermath. It is here and now.’

Anyone can enjoy the colours, the brisk skies, and the absence of irritating bugs. But how many are inclined to welcome the cold, the storms, and the darkness?

The trumpeter now climbs the mountain stairs
In murky coat of stormy airs

I can see Erik Axel Karlfeldt’s proud horn players before me, caped in brown and grey, taking over from the lush, feminine laziness of summer. The air begins to stir again, troubled and relentless. Something is on the move.

On clear days you can see not just to the earthly horizon before you, but to the real one, at the outermost limit, where big ships go back and forth. The heart is filled with joy and it is transformed into their sails. The eye needs no machine to travel.

The ground is covered in mouldering memories. The noisy industriousness of pollinating and stinging has been turned over to those who work quietly and invisibly below the surface: the diggers and the preparers of the soil. Before long their work will become apparent. And soon enough fallen giants will decompose in order to resurrect.

Portions of the past vanish into my campfire. Ashes to ashes…


Every tree now has its own colour. They stand out from the dark-green blur of summer, and suddenly you see them as individuals again, still interwoven into groves and forests. This is how it ought to be: a brotherhood without self-denial. Every rock its own moss, every meadow its own yellow grass.

Some move south, but not all. Whirling flocks of birds besot themselves in the stormy skies. They are not heading anywhere. They are where they want to be, beyond control, surrendering to the rage of the elements. I envy them.

But darkness, that which is decried? It is no threat. It embeds and protects. And it forebodes Winter, the enchanted – when everything that moves will leave a track in the snow. Yes, in a way the winter is brighter. Somewhere far away it is getting ready, packing its bags, preparing its means of transportation, and directing its compass toward our latitudes. But it is not yet time.

Autumn is complete in itself. It is no mere transition or preparation, and certainly no aftermath. It is here and now.

Receive it: the golden age of our lands.

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