In the post titled “Labyrinth” we included the phrase from Patrick Kavanagh, “prayering of the earth.

In that same post we spoke of looking forward to time over the next three weeks with children and grandchildren.  That time has copiously begun, even as we (at least me [phil[) a bit mistily begin our reentry post-jet-lag into central standard time.  We have grandchildren and children here for sleepovers and many more of them for meals and conversation and walks and . . . just being.

It is amazingly wonderful!

The  home we rented for the next two weeks on Park Point in Duluth is perfect for this time.  It is on the beach of Lake Superior.  It is comfortable, funky in decor, warm, and inviting.  Lauren, friend of Sage, grandson, said, “You just got here and it already feels like you have been here a long, long time.”  The home is a hospitable place.  It lends itself to ease in gathering family.

We are fortunate, indeed!

Back to that Kavanagh poem, “October.”  It was written maybe five or six years before Patrick died at the age of sixty-three in 1967.  Seems like he was visualizing himself as in the October of his life, a time when he did not feel the need “to puzzle out Eternity.”

If you were to think of your life as one that is metaphorically lived as over a twelve month period, what month of the twelve do you find yourself living?

Here is Kavanagh’s full poem:



yellow leaf of fall - 2012 - Duluth

O leafy yellowness you create for me

A world that was and now is poised above time,

I do not need to puzzle Eternity

As I walk this arboreal street on the edge of town

The breeze, too, even the temperature

And pattern of movement, is precisely the same

As broke my heart for youth passing.  Now I am sure

Of something.  Something will be mine wherever I am.

I want to throw myself on the public street without caring

For anything but the prayering that the earth offers.

It is October over all my life and the light is staring

As it caught me once on a plantation by the fox coverts.

A man is ploughing ground for winter wheat

And my nineteen years weigh heavily on my feet.

red leaf of fall - 2012 - Duluth


Is there a phrase of the poem that is worth your time for pondering?

A world that was and is poised over time.

The pattern of movement is precisely the same as broke my heart for youth passing.

Something will be mine wherever I am.

Not caring for anything but the prayering the earth offers.

It is October over all my life.

The light is staring.

Which nineteen years weigh heavily on you?


Tonight, it it is true that savoring family (and desiring for the wellness of each one of the family, yes, each and every one of them) all the while being honest about the month of your life you find yourself living as though these two (integrity/honesty) have something to do with aging well with vibrancy, beauty, tears, and grace.

Although it is literally September, I’m quite sure this is at least the October of my life.  I am older now than Patrick Kavanagh was when he died.  I am older now than the males on the paternal side of my family when they died.

I hope for more years . . .

and I am grateful for what has happened and for what is . . .

oh yes I am.

Here are a few images from today along the shore of Lake Superior:

looking toward Duluth's downtown from here

Red, Sage, & Noah
Two generations in conversation under the half moon

light of the setting sun over Lake Superior

light before moon light - 9/22/2012 - Lake Superiorflames of tonight's driftwood bonfireMay you be warmed by the light of the setting sun, the half moon, the flames of a bonfire.

May you be lovingly surprised by the gift of family.

May you give thanks for light . . . and for darkness.

May you dance in the light.

May you find your way in the dark.

May sunset and moonrise, sand between your toes, conversation by life’s bonfires inspire you to be a person of justice even as the Druids, the early Christians, and the later ones too were inspired to be people of justice before you.

May the widows and orphans be cared for by the community.

May the hungry be fed.

May the blind see.

May the prisoners be unshackled.

May the mourners feel the mantle of gladness.

May the oppressed be free.

May we be the light of God.

Published by philandpatricia

we live in Northport, MI

5 thoughts on “October

  1. There’s a bit of green lacking in the pictures this side of the Atlantic, but each sight has its own indelible beauty. We saw similar shots last week from Bayfield where my brothers, their wives, Marlyn and I rented a house on the shore of the peninsula. The seasons have incredible beauty, but fall–the one I want most to stay as pristine as it is at its height–has a special clarity to it…probably because if you’re October, I must be November.

  2. So glad that you are home safe and sound. We loved your poem and Donna used it this morning as the benediction.
    Did you arrive in the snow that they showed on TV? Have a grand time with your big family, especially those grands. I have a new great grand as of Friday – Fenton Donaldson, delivered by his aunt, my midwife grand daughter.
    For what has been, thanks! for what is yet to come, YES!
    Hugs, Fay

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