Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Appointment with October

Welcome to October. As I sit writing this, it's raining on a cool, breezy, dreary day. Better today than Saturday during the wedding. I suppose it's natural for the father of the bride to spend some time contemplating his own history as he watches his "Little Girl," of whom he's quite proud and pleased to have as a friend, get ready to start a new, long-running episode in her life. As you know if you've poked around a little on this blog, I come from New England and have a fair element of Irish in my background. I identify with my Irish and my New England heritages more than other elements in my background. Yesterday, when the sun was shining, the pears on the tree shone and glowed in a way that would make it easy to forgive you if you thought they were "golden apples of the sun," from W.B. Yeats' The Song of Wandering Aengus. Poets like Yeats and writers like Joyce help a lot to be proud of coming from Irish extraction. I'm not sure my daughter has picked up on the Irish thread of her heritage, but I know it's there even if she's not enthralled by The Waterboys Appointment with Mr. Yeats CD.

Golden apples pears of the sun
Photo by J. Harrington

She's a better shot with a handgun than I am or have ever been. I have the edge when it comes to shotguns. We both enjoy fishing, although she's partial to spinning rods and I lean way, way, way towards fly-fishing. Her fiance, very-soon-to-be husband, shares her joy in doing these things and, one of these years, I may forgive him for taking, basically out of my back yard, over two consecutive years, a buckeach year bigger than any I've every seen while I pretended to be a deer hunter. I've been more of a bird and duck hunter since that gives me lots of reasons to be owned by a series of wonderful labs. I'm pretty sure her taste in husbands is about as good as her skill in picking out fathers. I do recall with a smile one of the few times I took the Daughter Person deer hunting. After about twenty minutes of sitting behind a log watching a deer trail, she got bored and started making and throwing snowballs. That got her mittens soaking wet and then her hands got cold. Back to the house, after a short walk as I gently explained that deer didn't enjoy snowball fights, we went. No deer, but a story to enjoy and share over the years. Being human, fallible and male, I've managed to screw up more than a few things over the years. Luckily, the Daughter Person wasn't one of them. I'm pretty proud of the way she's turn out. (By the way, I may end up missing a few daily posts over the next several days, but by next week I expect to be back ranting, raving, and reflecting after I've visited with some relatives I haven't seen in too long.) Now, back to that Irish heritage part.

The Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

                                    William Butler Yeats

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