Fall in North Georgia is short and indecisive: warm and muggy some days, then suddenly a cold snap. You can’t decide if you should switch the thermostat back and forth or just compensate with the ceiling fan or open windows.
But when the trees flame up in ruby and marigold, and the light glows through their density like amber, a single pear tree can boast a spectrum of color from chartreuse ribs to plum fingertips, you don’t mind so much the driving for hours to drop off and pick up kids. It’s soul-feeding just to watch the colors swirl by, these elaborate conflagrations, these funereal pyres, knowing that in less than a week, one hard rain and they’ll have all turned brown on the forest floor, caking walkways, and the branches will be stretched in aching gestures, waiting for spring.
Our selections this month speak to this mutability, these brief reminders of present tense–and the ways we shut it out in “busy-ness” to forget how slow the clock ticks, to distract ourselves from all that can go wrong during the silences. We want the resurrection now, the healing now, forgetting to glory in the small brevities we’re given. That if, start to finish, it really all happened in a flash, it would feel factual, diminished. Less glorious.
Elizabeth Cranford Garcia, Segullah Poetry Editor
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