What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life? -Mary Oliver

Monday, October 3, 2011

Tell Me This

Suzanne Casamento of the clever Question of the Day Blog
recently asked:
"What do you love about where you live?"

This set me to thinking, as her questions often do. I started blogging in the fall, and I believe there's a reason for that. It's the season of contemplation, of hunkering down and storing up. For the writer, it's the season of the run-on sentence and the convoluted paragraph and the crowded journal page, writing that leads to old memories and new ideas, new poems and new novels. Fall is the season of the writer. But what else do I love about fall in Michigan?

Hunting season, fried cakes, and pheasants,
the badgering of the crows
and the flocking of the starlings.
Crisp mornings laden with dew
after the night of the falling-leaf moon.
Apples on the ground and cider in the fridge,
pie in the oven and candles lit.
Drafty doors and tinkling chimes,
alone in the house
alone on the road
gravel roads and empty roads
Robust people in outdoor gear.
A basket of seed garlic,
planting garlic.
A wheelbarrow of beets,
eating beets-
pickled beets, roasted beets, beets with feta, beets with butter.
Beets.
The gunmetal sky, the changing sky,
a violet cupcake cumulus sky.
Moving water and great big lakes
the ice-encrusted dangerous lake.
Shanties, pasties, and pantries,
mums and wooly worms and fetching dogs.
Gathering eggs and harvesting squash-
curing squash and storing squash,
eating roasted golden squash.
Stately trees and scrappy foliage
turning color, surprising color-
modest yellow and outrageous orange,
stoic russet and flat-out red.
The harvest moon and the harvester,
billowing dust and jumping grasshoppers,
hopper wagons filled with grain,
golden grain and drying grain.
Men at work with gnarled knuckles and practical pants.
Men in hats who love to work.
Women in boots who live to work.

This is my Michigan in October.
This is where I live.

Where do you live?

19 comments:

Suzanne Casamento said...

Oh Yvonne, that is so beautiful! Aren't we so lucky to love where we live? And to realize how important it is to appreciate the nature around us?

Your Michigan sounds amazing.

Pet said...

It is beautifully written and then you know how to get so much from what surrounds you, a gift of the soul.

Jannie Funster said...

Pasties??? Oh -- I get it, the kind with a nice crust outside and savory sweet somethings inside.

I'll have to try and resist fashioning your sidebar button out of something beet related. :) I too love beets, in all the ways you mention -- except for the feta. :)

I started blogging in fall to -- Sept 22, 2008.

Gona eat some pie now, and light a candle tho it's morning...

Whilst I enjoy the next 30 minutes or so making and coding-up YOUR button.

Oh, and FRIED cakes?? Sounds yummy.

I like where I live because I'm home!! :) :)

xoxo

Charlie said...

Michigan sounds cozy by your description. I couldn't possibly do justice to New York's many positive attributes, but I long for someplace quieter. I'd be better able to answer you then.

Jannie Funster said...

Your lovely field of organic beans beat out the beets. :)

xo

Anthony Duce said...

Love your words for fall in your part of Michigan. They express it so very well. Of course some of us, the ones still hanging around the metro area, miss a majority of what fall in Michigan has to offer. We see the leaves change. We drive for hours to pick apples, and see the big Lakes, and pretend we are in the country with the rest of the state.

Jon Paul said...

Beautifully rendered! My favorite line was this one: "...a violet cupcake cumulus sky..."

:D

Thanks for brightening up my evening. I'd never been to Michigan, but I feel like I have now!

Mindy McGinnis said...

Ohio! And, pretty much the same things you just wrote :) I love the changing colors here right now, the smell of good dirt being turned over when the farmers hit the fields, and the chilly mornings!

Jemi Fraser said...

Northern Ontario - not too far from Michigan. And I love it too. The colours, the crisp air, crunchy leaves. Beautiful! :)

Yvonne Osborne said...

Suzanne,
Thank you so much. Yes, we are lucky. Thanks for the inspiration to share Michigan.

Pet,
Thank you! I try to see my surroundings with a fresh eye rather than the half-closed one, knowing that this is a better place than some.

Jannie,
Hi! I'm finding we have a lot in common. Yes, the U.P. is famous for pasties stuffed with rutabaga, potato and savory meat. I can't wait to see what my side button looks like. You're amazing!

Charlie,
Nice to hear from N.Y. I've been there and it certainly does have a lot to offer. But quiet it sure isn't. Thanks!

Tony,
Thank you so much. Our metro areas are pretty cool too.

Jon,
Thank you! That was one of my favorites too. I'm glad I helped bring Michigan to you.

Mindy,
I lived in Ohio for a while. Lots of farmland down there for sure. Thanks for commenting!

Jemi,
If I couldn't live in Michigan, I'd want to live in Canada. Thanks!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Yvonne, that was a stunner! Thanks for sharing those vivid observations. I was transported mentally and emotionally but wishing I was there physically to watch the leaf-falling moon and smell the pie in the oven. Since my door is rattling in the wind and I just ate beets and feta I'm almost there. ;)

Talli Roland said...

What a wonderful collection of images. I can see why you love it!

I live in London and it's a wonderful place in the autumn.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Tricia,
Thank you so much! Yes, you're almost here with your rattling door and beet salad. Your love of nature and the place where you live is a constant inspiration to me.

Talli,
Thank you! The only time I've been to London was in October. And I loved it. There was a little rain, but it never lasted, never slowed us down. And there were still tons of flowers in windowboxes and in doorways and in surprising places. I remember the monster hydrangeas. Thanks for commenting!

Ed Pilolla said...

a beautiful walk through your neighborhood this time of year. what a treat:)
you are so connected to the earth. it rubs off in your writing so richly.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Ed,
Thanks! Compliments from fellow writers are the best. Our natural surroundings can't help but rub off, as I know you know.

catwoods said...

I love your imagery. So similar to my native Minnesota.

Thanks for sharing such beautiful words. Which reminds me, I know of a writing opportunity I think you may be interested in.

You can contact me via email if you would like to learn more.

hugs~

Yvonne Osborne said...

Thanks, Cat.
I've only been in a tad bit of Minnesota, when we took a trip around Lake Superior. The only place with more lakes than Michigan. Thanks again for your support!

Sarah Wedgbrow said...

While I am prone to agree with you (and I do on every single point of the list), I just have to be a cow and point out that winter is the writer's season. ;) Autumn is too ripe, it's a gathering. A preparation. You have to reap in autumn, then slowly divide it out over the snowed-in days. In winter, there is nothing to do but write. Autumn's for living. xx

Yvonne Osborne said...

Sarah,
Thanks for correcting me. You are right. Fall is the time for reaping and usually too busy for much contemplation. It leads to the writing season which is winter, of course!