Friday, September 01, 2017

Friday Ramble - Autumn

This week's word comes to us through the Middle English autumpne and the Old French autompne, thence the Latin autumnus, and the Latin likely derives from even older Etruscan forms.  The first part of autumnus (autu) probably comes from the Etruscan autu, related to avil, or year, and may be connected to the the old Venetic autu or autah, meaning the same thing. The second part of autumnus (mnus) comes from menos meaning loss, minus, or passing. At the end of our etymological adventures is the burnished but wistful thought that another year is ebbing, another circuit in what I like to call simply, "the Great Round," the natural cycle of our existence.

September is about harvest and abundance, but it is about balance too. The Autumn Equinox on September 21 is one of the two times in the  year when day and night are balanced in length, the other being the Vernal Equinox on March 21. On that day, (also called known as Mabon or "Harvest Home"), the sun seems to pass over the equator on a journey southward, moving steadily away from us.  Things are actually the other way around though, and it is the earth and her unruly children who are in motion. Between the Midsummer Solstice (Litha) in late June and the Winter Solstice (Yule) on or about December 21, the planet's northern hemisphere tilts away from the radiant star at the center of its galaxy.

This week, early evening skies are lit by a waxing moon, and the hours before sunrise are without moonlight.  The magnificent constellations of winter are starting to appear, and the dome of night is a veritable treasure trove of deep sky wonders and breathtaking beauty, a gift for ardent stargazey types like me. Beau and I stood in our chilly garden this morning before sunrise and watched Orion climbing high into the southeastern sky, Sirius, Procyon and Venus to the east and just above the horizon. A tapestry of stars covered the sky from here to there, and when the sun appeared, the stars vanished and every roof in the village was dappled with dew. With mornings like these, how can one feel anything except rich as Croesus and jubilant in spirit?

On early walks, falling leaves drift around our ankles and make a fine rustling music.  Earthbound foliage on the trail is going transparent and turning into stained glass in splendid buttery colors.  We pause to look at all the wonders around our feet, and it's a wonder we ever get anywhere at all.

Happy September, everyone!


Bill said...

Beautifully written. Happy September.

Riognach said...

While we continue to swim in the waters of Long Island Sound, our sassafras tree sends down scarlet leaves. Morning glories bloom in gemstone violets and blues. The Norway maples will be butterscotch in a month, but the sassafras and the morning glories which always reseed themselves are my calendars for September.

sarah said...

Wishing you many warm and golden blessings for this month. xx