Monday, September 19, 2016

The Golden-Rod Awakens a Memory (Day 32)

Have you ever heard of a senile GPS?  Have you ever heard of a confused, disoriented, and befuddled GPS?  Our GPS this morning took us from Lone Pine, Missouri, miles and miles along dirt and rain-rutted roads (a continuous circle) in an attempt to get us to Interstate 70.  I knew “she” (I have an Australian woman’s voice) was baffled when we drove over the same “MO Tt” dirt road three times and “Z” road twice and through Bates City twice—and then redirecting us to “MO Tt” (a dirt road) again.  We gave up on our GPS friend, checked the map, and were soon on I-70 East!  The GPS seemed to be relieved and we were too!

All along the roadside today, both in Missouri and Illinois, the Golden-Rod bloomed its brilliant yellow.  The flower stirred a memory as it always does each September. When I was in the fifth grade, our teacher attempted to have us memorize the “Golden Rod” poem by Helen Hunt Jackson.  Looking out the classroom window that day, I could see the Golden-Rod a’blooming, but rather than latching on to the poem, I was caught up in day-dreaming about what I would do when school was done.  It is a strange remembrance, because it seems (as the memory returns) that I am “out of body” and can look upon that ten-year old boy so eager for school to end. I haven’t changed a bit!

The golden-rod is yellow; 
The corn is turning brown;
The trees in apple orchards
Harvest Moon over Lake Paradise MO
With fruit are bending down.

The gentian's bluest fringes
 Are curling in the sun;
In dusty pods the milkweed                                   
Its hidden silk has spun.

From dewy lanes at morning
The grapes' sweet odors rise;
At noon the roads all flutter
With yellow butterflies.

By all these lovely tokens 
September days are here,
With summer's best of weather,
And autumn's best of cheer.

But none of all this beauty
Which floods the earth and air
Is unto me the secret
Which makes September fair.

'Tis a thing which I remember; (a fifth-grade Day Dreamer)
To name it thrills me yet:
One day of one September

I never can forget. 

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