Friday, October 5, 2007

the burning of the leaves

Where I live, the leaves haven't yet changed color. Even after they fall and are raked (or, these days, more likely blown) into brittle and shifting heaps, I'm pretty sure that local ordinances don't let you burn them anymore. With narrowed eyes, I can see the flames and ashes of long-ago leaf fires on my mother's lawn, though, on reflection, the scene seems unlikely, something I read about or dreamed. The last two lines of The Burning of the Leaves by Laurence Binyon keep rattling through my mind like the wind-chased leaves themselves:

Earth cares for her own ruins, naught for ours.
Nothing is certain, only the certain spring.

15 comments:

Mavis said...

The smell of burning leaves is one of the most perfect smells on earth.

Christine said...

ah yes-- that smell is wonderful and sad all at once, huh?

LAS said...

Oh wow - I just looked out my office window (which actually overlooks lake Michigan and the park), only to realize that the leaves have started to change a bit. Sad actually that I hadn't noticed. It is October and 85 here in Chicago, and well, there is just more concrete than trees. The image of your post though, reminds me of my childhood and being at our property in the Upper Penisula of Michigan. I loved the smell of the leaves and the crunch under my feet. When I was really little I would rake them into what we called a "leaf house" and play there with my imaginary family. It does conjure up something sad for me I guess - probably better not to go there.

slouching mom said...

The leaves are starting to change where I am.

I've always thought it fitting that the most brilliant and beautiful trees, the ones that turn color soonest, are actually the sickest.

It jibes with my (admittedly cynical) world view.

The Oneliner (Christina) said...

the spring *is* certain.

Bon said...

i find such beauty in the desolation of those words, in the way they minimize our human suffering and us.

they relieve me. i thank you for them.

thailandchani said...

Beautiful words... nd I love the smell of burning leaves....


Peace,

~Chani
http://thailandgal.blogspot.com

painted maypole said...

i love love love the smell of burning leaves. I missthat.

My Reality said...

I only wish the guarantee of spring could guarantee new life for all of us.

Lori said...

It is most definitely autumn here. Both for the trees, and my heart.

Sarah said...

hmm, what does that suggest if i absolutely hate srping and have a deep deep love for fall?

LeRoy Dissing said...

An advantage to living in the country is that you can still burn leaves which I have done many times both in autumn and in spring - a sure representation of the changing seasons.

BTW: I haven't eaten a carmeled apple in years. They look delicious...and kids sure do love them but then there is a kid in each of us too I suppose :)

S. said...

I remember my grandfather's leaf-burning spot--he had brick enclosure built for it, like a giant campfire box on picnic grounds.

And the smell--we may be the last generations to associate that with Fall.

I guess Spring will keep on coming, won't it?

Amelie said...

Maybe burning some leaves would be good -- chasing away ghosts of the past and such.
Spring is certain, but what it will bring is as uncertain as anything else..

becky said...

I miss the smell of burning leaves.