The still melancholy that I love

Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.

-George Eliot

“…the still melancholy that I love…” Is there a more perfect way to describe autumn? I think I’ve found a kindred spirit.

As I write this, I am sitting at my desk overlooking the magnificent view before me. In recent weeks, I moved to The Mountain House, perched at the pinnacle of a mountain within the first heights of the Rocky Mountains. There is a no more appropriate place to welcome the best of seasons in my favorite month. Dusk is settling in and giving everything a melancholy quiet that is more introspective than sad. Indeed, it has even made my archenemies, the dead and dying thistles of monstrous size, a hue of beauty. (Sleep well, my friends, for tomorrow we meet again.)

This, sadly, is not my view.

The window is open a crack, letting the chilled air seep in. With a pumpkin candle burning behind me, the mixture of warm scent and crisp draft combine to wrap me in a delight of comfort. The only way this scene would be more perfect is if the clouds settled down to roost upon us while bull elk bugled in the distance, as it happened last weekend. I listen, but the elk remain silent so far. This is a fleeting season of change, so to expect one day to match another, much like the summer days do, is folly. Better to take each mysterious, delicious day as it comes. Colorado has so few of them for winter does not like to be kept waiting.

This is all to say that my soul, too, is wedded to this haunting season. In the coming weeks, the world will turn more to the ghostly aspect of this month. But for now, before the jack-o-lanterns, the turkey, and the Christmas tree come in rapid succession, I will revel in the still melancholy.


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