Farewell to Summer

Autumn has come, carrying a crisp wind from the north, signaling the arrival of a new season. The leaves are transitioning to the golden reds and browns, eagerly waiting for the freedom to float in the air in their descent to the ground

Next to me is a pot of freshly brewed tea called Mystic Rainforest which promises me a wilderness retreat with black tea, blueberries, cranberries and elderberries. I have looked at recipes for the winter months and have taken out the sweaters and hats that will be needed when winter comes a-calling.

It is time to say a fond farewell to summer and thank her for the gifts of warmth and long days.

What better way to celebrate summer and welcome autumn, than with William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Join me in reciting poetry in a rose garden.

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date;
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

72 Thoughts

    1. Hamlet would have been in better spirits if he walked in a garden. But then, we would not have the brilliant “to be or not to be” soliloquy. Thank you for joining me in the garden, which was originally the site of a distillery before being transformed into several gardens. I’m certain that the distillery left something in the soil that adds to the vibrancy of the plants and trees.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. There are so many stories that are kept safe in history. According to the friends of P&T Gardens website, “the story of Park & Tilford Gardens begins in 1962 when Park & Tilford Distilleries engaged Justice & Webb Landscape Architects to create an outdoor space for their staff to use during their lunch breaks.”http://parkandtilfordfogs.ca/history/

        As I see the older buildings being replaced by newer, more efficient buildings, I think of all the conversations, the stories, the projects completed, the celebrations that occurred within the rooms. I appreciate that you go back into history and write was we need to remember!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I know just what you mean about old buildings. I feel the same way. I’ve been corresponding with a childhood friend from Enosburg, and he sent me a message last week that he was on his way to a deconsecration. His church was being torn down because the vastly reduced congregation couldn’t afford the repairs needed to save it. (This was a 19th-century church that had burned to the ground and been rebuilt.)

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Autumn has always, always always, been my favourite season. September is about learning opportunities, books and mellow hours walking in the falling leaves. Thank you so much for joining me in the garden. Sending many hugs on the wing.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. I look forward to your walks in the gardens reading poems, today from Wm. Shakespeare, one of his many really inspired verses. This is a beautiful time, the passing of summer into autumn, not only looking for the changes of clothes that will be needed for the cooler weather, but also watching the days becoming shorter to give us more time for reflection and meditation. Thank you for the beautiful photos, the poem and your thoughts. Such a positive encouragement for the new week ahead!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Park & Tiford Gardens are a great place to break away from a busy shopping area. I’m delighted that they opened the gardens this summer after being closed for most of last year. The flowers and gardens were maintained beautifully during the closure and are now ready to enter a new season when the days will grow shorter. Time for tea and hot chocolate. Thank you for joining William Shakespeare and me in the Rose Garden. Sending many hugs!

      Liked by 4 people

    1. September has always been a month of nostalgia for me because it brings back the celebrations of harvest and thanksgiving, of reading and going back to school. It is the blending of colours from robust vibrancy to to a golden effervescence. It is as if summer is leaving the world in autumn’s care.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, that sound like a wonderful time. When I lived in northern Manitoba, we used to go blueberry picking in the bush during the later part of August into early September. They were the best blueberries! I confess that we ate more of the berries than we picked. So much fun!!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Ahd, how lovely. Your recitation wa expert my dear. Many years ago I was involved in doing Shakespeare supper evenings at Camperdown House, now sadly boarded up, I only wish now we had had you there on this recitation. xxxxxxxxx

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I always wanted to play Lady MacBeth, and change the narrative up with her and the three witches saving the King and MacBeth and then having Lady MacBeth take the throne with the three witches as her councillors. I don’t think that William would have gone with that idea. I enjoy reciting Shakespeare – even with my Canadian accent. I would have loved to join you at Camperdown House. What fun that would have been.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. I am delighted that you joined William and me in the garden. What a summer we have had with heat waves and fires. And in other parts of the world, torrential rains. It is wonderful to feel September’s cool wind again. Thank you for bringing joy to my day! Sending hugs back!!!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh Mary Jo! What a summer we have had all over the world. Heat wave on our side and torrential rains in others. I am enjoying every day of September. I know that this summer has been extra special for you. I just found September poem by Lucy Maud Montgomery: “September”

      Lo! a ripe sheaf of many golden days
      Gleaned by the year in autumn’s harvest ways,
      With here and there, blood-tinted as an ember,
      Some crimson poppy of a late delight
      Atoning in its splendor for the flight
      Of summer blooms and joys­
      This is September.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. This sonnet from William Shakespeare is beautiful. Your reading is lovely, Rebecca! What a gorgeous garden with roses to portrait the summer fragrance for you to read this poem about summer. I love your photos with lush green and different colors of roses. The roses in my garden are not as vibrant as the summer time. We don’t have the pleasure of seeing the autumn foliage which I missed so much in Portland, Oregon where I was as a student 40 years ago.
    My older granddaughter Autumn was born in September 2017. I was there for her birth and her second birthday but missed her third birthday last year because of the pandemic. I’m going to her 4th birthday in two weeks. It’s a perfect chance for me to see the autumn colors and I’m looking forward to it.
    Thank you again for sharing this beautiful sonnet, Rebecca!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am delighted that you joined William and me in the garden. Thank you for being a poet and sharing your insights on TTT (to be published in a couple of hours) We need poetry in our lives, especially now as we navigate new pathways. How wonderful to be celebrating your granddaughter’s 4th birthday in two weeks. I will be celebrating that special day with you on my side of the border. Sending many hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Travel is still in a precarious state, even though we are making progress in this area. Effective today, British Columbians need to present a vaccine passport to enter certain places like movie theaters, art galleries etc. Right now, I am traveling in Vancouver and I am inviting you to come along. I enjoy our conversations, Robbie!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Rebecca,

    You choose the best places to recite.

    I adore this sonnet. Perhaps it is his most famous?
    I discovered Shakespeare’s sonnets as a love sick teenager. I was busy memorizing “How Do I Love Thee” by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, from “Sonnets from the Portuguese”. I wondered if there were more sonnets around, and found Shakespeare’s.
    Hard to believe we still adore his works. He did pass in 1616. OMG! 405 years ago!

    I have this wonderful book – “Love Poems And Sonnets of William Shakespeare”.
    It’s a first edition – 1957.
    It has some beautiful illustrations in it, by Vera Bock.

    EGADS… you would love the illustrations.
    I do believe I will photograph all of them, for posterity.

    Let me send you a few, when I get the time!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You have the best books. I found a Kindle version of your first edition – lucky you!!! Let’s get together on Zoom and read Sonnets together!! Wouldn’t it be great to do a rendition of the three witches in MacBeth with Shey!!?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. That sounds like fun!

        From memory:… I checked after!
        I made 1 mistake

        Round about the cauldron go
        In the poisoned entrails throw
        Toad that under cold stone
        Days and nights has 31
        Sweltered venom sleeping got
        Boil thou first i the cursed pot.
        Double double toil and trouble
        Fire burn and cauldron bubble.

        Liked by 3 people

  5. Beautifully read, Rebecca; and the background display was delightful.
    Well, here you are up north moving, as it ought to be, into my most favourite season, whilst we, down under are seeing the beginnings of Spring. You will be enjoying the changing colours, whilst we are now seeing the evidence of new life.
    Aren’t the seasons a joy!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Carolyn for joining me in an summer garden that is now in transition. Yes, seasons are a joy. I am looking forward to sharing the seasons together via photos on our blogs!! Take care and sending many hugs!

      Liked by 3 people

  6. If old Shakie was alive he would be commending your beautiful reading, Rebecca. Perfect choice for a farewell to summer. Having just got back from the Lake District and Pennines might I be bold enough to suggest Keats’ welcoming Ode to Autumn next, certainly a season of mists and mellow fruitfulness in this part of the world.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Ah dear Keats. I could never understand the attraction of Keats as compared to Byron and Shelley), until I realised the romantic poets were really the rock stars of their day. Keats worked very hard at being a poet, like many modern young musicians, and like with many modern rockstars (according to his landmark biographer Robert Giddings) “All his desires were concentrated on Fanny”. Except in Keats case the fanny in question was Fanny Brawne – the brawn to his brains I suppose!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. You are really doing all the right things, visiting the right places and, yes, it feels like you’re enjoying life.
    It’s not that I am really envious, but I sure would love to be somewhere there, too, with the tea cup in hand.
    You have also created a wonderful post about that.
    I? Well, I’m still just at home, I cannot even recall which year I was somewhere else, and isolation continues. Financials are not there to support any travel. I’m working hard, need to but a new laptop, maybe in spring that will happen. Working and dreaming. It would be certainly great to go places and see what’s happening.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love your thoughts on working and dreaming, Inese, for these are close to my heart as well. Plans for travel has been put on indefinite hold for me until more is known on logistics of travel. I am delighted that you joined me in the Park & Tilford Gardens in North Vancouver. They just opened in early summer after been closed for several months because of the Covid restrictions. I have found ways to travel virtually with tours through websites like https://www.heygo.com/ and museums such as The Met, National Galleries Scotland. Thank you so much for your visit and comments – very much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s nice that you have found such good ways!
        These gardens must be somewhere close to you, right? I’ve never been to Vancouver, not even to that region.
        I think it would be good to check out Toronto or other close-by places, it’s just so that my health problems do not allow to get DL, so without a car, how far are you gonna go? I have very literary spent the last 2 years in this house and the tiny backyard. I don’t do any shopping either, so no point going out.
        As soon as I will make some money, maybe in classes, I will start buying second-hand books again, really miss these,. Things aren’t good here, due to extremely high prices, lots of things are now out of reach.
        Very good posts recently! I really enjoy them!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thank you so much for your heartwarming comments, Inese. These are difficult times indeed. I am glad that we belong to a compassionate virtual blogging community.


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