Category Archives: Autumn

Something Wicked This Way Comes

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This year, as autumn has arrived, I feel the need to read/re-read books that reflect the season. As of late, several of these are Ray Bradbury titles that run the gamut of the season: Dandelion Wine, Farewell Summer, and now Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962).

Something Wicked This Way Comes
Something Wicked This Way Comes

In mid-October, with autumnal air-shifting, this book sails into the time of the season and then departs very soon after just like the flow of this tale. During the weekend before Halloween, a suspect train rides into Green Town, Illinois, bringing a nefarious group of soul-sucking characters, freaks, and the infamous Illustrated Man. And the same weekend is just before the birthdays of Will and his twin-like friend Jim. In tandem with Will’s midage father, a library janitor, the three are bound together for a wicked ride that eventually will redeem many lost souls – all the while bringing  the two boys closer to manhood.

Once again, Bradbury immerses his readers in a world full of zen-run-wild adjectives and occurrences, culminating in one last frenzied ritual that chases evil away from Green Town, at least for now.

Gone is the idyllic summery nature of Dandelion Wine, sent away are the last remnants early fall in Farewell Summer; here we deeply settle into a cool and chilly season, fraught with the potential of both death as well as redemption in Something Wicked This Way Comes.

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Except 1:

First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys. Not that all months aren’t rare. But there be good and bad, as the pirates say. Take September, a bad month: school begins. Consider August, a good month: school hasn’t begun yet. July, well, July’s really fine: there’s no chance in the world for school. June, no doubting it, June’s best of all, for all the school doors spring wide and September’s a billion years away.

But you take October, now. School’s been on a month and you’re riding easier in the reins, jogging along…And if it’s around October twentieth and everything smoky-smelling and the sky orange and ash gray at twilight, it seems Halloween will never come in a fall of broomsticks and a soft flap of bedsheets around corners.

But one strange wild dark long year, Halloween cam early.

One year Halloween came on October 24, three hours after midnight.

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Excerpt 2:

“But hell! You saw the mirrors! And the mirrors shoved me half in, half out the grave. Showed me all wrinkles and rot! Blackmailed Miss Foley so she joined the grand march Nowhere, joined the fools who wanted everything! Poor damned fools. So wound up with nothing like the dumb dog who dropped his bone to go after the reflection of the bone in the pond. Will, you saw: every mirror fell. Like ice in a thaw. With no rock or rifle, no knife, just my teeth, tongue and lungs, I gunshot those mirrors with pure contempt! Knocked down ten million scared fools and let the real man get to his feet! Now, on your feet, Will!” (Chapter 54)

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Now, I am going to re-watch the movie version from 1983, which was so well done and which led me to this book. I do hope it holds up as well…

Autumal corn Cross-stitch

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With the autumnal theme continuing, I was inspired by the bottom of the Autumn Leaves cross-stitch posted last week to make a piece focused on autumnal corn…

Autumnal corn
Autumnal corn

What do you think?

Tomorrow begins my favorite month: October…full of color, wood smoke, and quieter, more reflective days, until Halloween of course.

And the color of the season in all of its reds, yellows, oranges, and browns are the focal colors of my life.

Autumnal theme continues…in cross stitching

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I prepared for Autumn by cross-stitching from a pattern I ran across.

Autumn leaves
Autumn leaves

The pattern had only the leaves, but I felt it needed a little something more; so I enhanced it along the bottom from left-to-right, each a row of each color used in the leaves.

The result of the first 6 rows made me think of corn, and what ensued will be posted in a few days…

A book about autumn entitled “Autumn”

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AutumnA follow up to Life in the Cold about the winter season, Peter Marchand’s Autumn continues to demystify the myths of  seasons while astounding us with the true facts below the surfaces – ALL WITHOUT LOSING ANY ROMANTIC VISION WE ENJOY. The facts themselves juxtaposed to the myths reinforce, instead, the romantic vision of the most romantic season.

From bird migratory routes, to the difference between bear and vole hibernation preparation,  to the magical world of the  ‘shrooms importancy for the continuity of one season unfolding into another, Marchand is a biological maven.

There are no seasons per se; instead, they overlap and fuel each other along one continuous cycle, year-in and year-out. There is no need for sadness, feeling one season means death while another means rebirth. One season feeds into another, such as autumn preparation that begins in late-spring, and preparation for spring occurring throughout autumn and winter, not for rebirth, but a renewal…

     “So the fungi, blanketed in organic riches and refreshed with abundant moisture, thrive and reproduce in the crisp air of autumn. And within days of fruiting they release their spores in powdery wisps to drift over the land, infusing the ranks of the silent decomposers with new strength, driving nutrient cycles ever forward to the benefit of every higher organism on earth that requires mineral elements for its own growth and development. Mushrooms are a symbol of renewal and a symbol of the season. They are the shining fruits of the great autumn leaf harvest.” (page 134)

Of special note is the chapter about Indian Summers – what they are about, how the meaning has changed, and why they are not like they used to be.

Among the grandeur of this planet are the many variations on themes, such as preparation for winter where approaches are multitudinous and strikingly varied:

“In a world of seemingly infinite variation, there are no simple answers to the multitude of complexities and challenges that animals face.” (page 121)

I do so hope Marchand will finish the cycle of the seasons with two more books to complete the cycle of seasonal interrelatedness and its complexities.