The Wistful Wind and Robert Frost

It’s Labor Day, cloudy and full of rain-laden wind and the cooler weather I longed for it to bring this weekend.


It’s so appropriately wistful.


I’ve been reading Robert Frost this morning. His autumn poems seemed to blow in through my open windows, settling around my soul with fresh understanding. I love poets: They express so well feelings and moments that might otherwise go unexamined.


In my last blog I wrote about my long season of “in between,” a characteristic of September simply and beautifully expressed by my lovely late mother—who did not often put her own spirit’s poetry on paper. This morning, Frost expressed another aspect of “in between” in his poem “Reluctance,” which ends:


Ah, when to the heart of man

Was it ever less than a treason

To go with the drift of things,

To yield with a grace to reason,

And bow and accept the end

Of a love or a season?


What is it about the breath of autumn that reminds us of losses, of sorrow, of our heart’s own reluctance to move forward? While part of us gears up for the many new things that begin this time of year—semesters, sports, programs, classes—another part of us hesitates, longs to snuggle down inside the gray morning for a while, and rest.


Thankfully, we have a day like Labor Day that affords us such an opportunity. It’s a recognition that no matter how productive and responsible we must be, there comes a time to stop and consider our lives, to review the past season, to contemplate the new one that approaches.


It’s an appropriate day to acknowledge reluctance to move on, to change, to let go, and to take the time we need to ready ourselves for the dropping of an entire summer’s leaves to their forever rest in the ground. And it’s a day to let the wind stir our anticipation for the way that only God can beautify melancholy transitions.


4 Responses to “ “The Wistful Wind and Robert Frost”

  1. Dianne says:

    I just read Mom's September poem this morning, and I hadn't read your last 2 blogs yet! I've missed her a lot lately too. Poetry is something others can experience about you even after you're gone.

  2. Lona Fraser says:

    So true of autumn. What a wonderful way to express it!

  3. Lizzie says:

    Poetry requires me to slow down; think; contemplate. Consolation is God's tool for melancholy; the word itself is comforting.

    You express how I feel this October of 2011. Love it, Joanne.

  4. Joanne Chantelau says:

    Thank you, ladies, for taking the time to read and encourage me with your comments!

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