• Larry Rettig’s melancholy and ‘Summer Treasures’

    by  • October 15, 2012 • Something different, Summer, Weather

    Here in the Sierra foothills of California, sometimes the Autumn season brings a feeling of melancholy to gardeners, faced with drooping faded flowers, drizzly rains and overcast skies. Larry Rettig, a member of Dave’s Garden website, pondered this feeling one day while out walking and a poem just came to him that expressed all the bittersweet moods of the changing season.

    Design in Nature (5)Summer Treasures

    But a pale shadow of its
    summer glory,
    leaf askew and seed head heavy,
    the garden hunkers down
    to brace itself against the bluster of
    cold and ice that is winter.

    Was it not just yesterday that I
    caressed the soft-petaled rose in passing?
    Savored the sweet scent of honeysuckle
    drifting over the sill?
    Plucked a determined weed amidst the
    mossy stones?

    I can still hear the cicada as it
    drones its raspy song from a nearby oak, still
    feel the heat of the sun-baked soil on
    my bare feet, see
    the firefly in my mind’s eye as it
    performs for me its luminous dance
    on the breezes of a soft summer night.

    These are the treasures of summer
    that shall sustain me, that I have harvested
    against the coming chill, until
    once more the brightening ray
    brings news of earth’s awakening.

    © Larry Rettig 2005

    Design in Nature (4)About how this poem came to be, Larry says this:

    “The poem unfolded quite unexpectedly in my head one late fall day as I was walking along the banks of the Iowa River during my lunch break.  I don’t know exactly why it came to me.  I certainly wasn’t making a conscious effort to compose a poem, and my mood was anything but chipper!

    By the time I got back to my desk, the poem was complete.  I typed it into my computer, still mystified by this amazing experience.  I noticed that my mood had mellowed considerably.  Then I realized that the closing lines of the poem already reflected the onset of that mood change.  The memories I had of our beautiful summer gardens had become treasures to sustain me rather than memories that made me sad.  And the reminder that another growing season was on its way was exactly what I needed.”

    About Dave’s Garden
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    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.