Autumn Russet weekend

Friday October 25

Ending the work week, tending to the serious business of noticing beauty. Walking up the concrete steps by the Student Union stairs to the Titan Dining Room, a maple tree rich with color, stopped me. I looked and looked at sheer beauty; the maple interrupted my travel across campus and left me poor and still and full of joy. A distinctly autumn experience.

Here’s a short poem, written during doctoral studies at Penn in the mid 1970s that tries to capture the same experience.

Autumn blessings this weekend.

john st sj

For the dogwood in our yard, middle of October

Autumn’s russet colors

Age without solemnity
Earthy and simple, they linger
Not for grandeur
Nor from fear of the dust they will become

Their affection for this place
These ripening moments
Even me the beholder
Slows the pace of changing.

Let me be won by this warmth
To slow my chosen pace
To ripen affectionately.

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