October Blue

blue-skyLong ago, Hesiod said, “It will not always be summer.” I’ve never known if this was a lament or a rejoicing. For most of us in in the South, after the scorching days of our September summers, it is a relief.

There is nothing quite like a day starting with cool mornings, clear skies, and hot coffee. Those refreshing first hours that almost make you gasp with a bit of unexpected pleasure when you open the door. That sudden rush of a cool caress over your skin which tingles with anticipation.

And what if — as a bonus! — the sky is the brilliant October blue of an East Texas morning? That indescribable blue, unlike any other? Not ultramarine (too dark), not cornflower (too gray), not turquoise (too green), not even sky blue (too pale). There are no imperfections in this veil of blue. Intense at the dome of the sky, and fading to the horizon. It’s a color of wonder, that causes me to gaze upward and offer no speech—just, well…wonder.

Those days, those mornings make me feel like I will truly live forever. Are these days a foretaste of our longing for eternity? The eternity that God has set in the hearts of all of us (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Why do I feel so vibrant, so optimistic, so hopeful? I want this sort of day to last forever, to never change.

Who has captured such thoughts better than Robert Frost in “October”?

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.