At times, autumn has a dream-like feel to it. This may have something to do with its mix of changefulness and stillness, a quality that I mentioned in a recent post. Moreover, as is the case with any good dream (as opposed to a nightmare), we are reluctant to leave it behind.
How lovely it would be to be forever fixed in a grove of yellows and oranges and reds, the leaves trickling down as squirrels gambol overhead. On the other hand, the essence of autumn's beauty is its disappearance, isn't it?
I wake to sycamore's yellowing leaves against the grey
Of cloud and London brick,
Day's solid walls and faintly luminous sky;
And still I almost see, in mind's eye,
Last night's woodland way
I followed under boughs of gold
Bathed in another light than these
That stand outside my window's narrow space.
No separation set me there, as here, apart
From dream's afresh-created sky and trees.
In that remembered country I was there indeed
While here, in body locked away,
Touch solid wood, wet leaves, earth-coloured flowers
And all is other that I feel and see;
Yet this world we call real, that has no place.
Kathleen Raine, The Oval Portrait (1977).