The third offering in our original travel quote memes series is dedicated to AUTUMN, my favorite season of the year. As before, some of the featured quotes are borrowed, but all of the designs are unique to our site. Although these quote memes are not uniquely travel related and can be enjoyed by anyone who loves the season, the fact remains, on a site dedicated to road travel, that my favorite time to hit the road is in the fall of the year.
The third week of October is when I make my annual trek to Pinebox, my North Georgia mountain log cabin. I count it a blessing and privilege to ditch work and spend a week totally immersed in the season I love so much. As a Native Floridian, autumn was never a part of my experience growing up. Perhaps that is a key to why I love the season so much. So whether you are blessed to experience autumn where you live, or if you have to drive out of state to find it, I hope you will find some quotes here that speak to the lover of autumn in yourself. As for the memes, we encourage you to Pin them, Tweet them, Instagram them, Facebook them, and otherwise fling them capriciously across cyberspace . . . .
You may not be familiar with the opening lines from John Donne’s Elegy IX: The Autumnal, and for that matter you may have never heard of the poet himself. But there is no way you could escape familiarity with some of his better-known lines such as ” . . . for whom the bell tolls . . . ,” “Death be not proud . . . ,” and “No man is an island . . . .” Like Donne, I appreciate the beauty of spring and summer, but they cannot hold a candle to the breathtaking splendor of “one autumnal face.” I do not know which “face” captured John Donne’s attention when he wrote these words, but I see incredible beauty in the face of each transitional leaf. That is what these poetic lines mean to me, and that is why I used a blazing sugar maple leaf as a background for this meme.
I brainstormed a list of the many things I love about autumn and tried to include them all in this meme. But alas, there were too many words to make the print legible. So I reduced the list to some of my top favorites, and I think you get the picture!
Not everything associated with autumn is lovely and enchanting, as these lyrics from the Johnny Mercer song convey. Several iconic vocalists have recorded the song Autumn Leaves, but ironically I first heard the tune covered by Eva Cassidy, a lovely songstress who left us too soon, never to reach her autumn years. Listen to Eva’s haunting live rendition of Autumn Leaves, and there will be no further need for explanation from me . . . .
Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors is a powerful lyric on so many levels, in so many ways. Although she did not write the song (it was written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly), her Grammy-nominated recording charted at #1 for two weeks in 1986 and introduced a song that would become an anthem for disenfranchised groups around the world. The messages of being your authentic self, diversity, tolerance, acceptance, and unconditional love are communicated through this sparse lyric.
I have to stop the flow here and say something. Sometimes blog posts create a life of their own. You start writing with an intention in mind, and then suddenly your writing takes another turn. That is what happened here. When I started writing the description of this meme, somewhere in the back of my memory I thought I remembered that Eva Cassidy had covered the song True Colors, as well. Sure enough, she did, and here it is . . . .
This post continued creating its own life when I remembered a poem I started writing several years ago. I love poetry, but I am no poet. I don’t have the time and patience it takes to select precise words and strip down the verbiage, but the first three stanzas of this poem came fairly quickly, and I was satisfied with their rhythm and sound and message. I was never quite content, however, with the last two stanzas, and I have tinkered with them several times over the years. In order to include the poem in this post, I worked on the ending a bit more, and now I think I can live with it. I reserve the right, however, to tinker with it again in the future should I discover a way to make it better. Anyway, here goes . . . .
It’s not in winter
When barren branches
Silhouette the rising moon
It’s not in spring
When buds are born
And showy blossoms bloom
It’s not in summer
When all are decked
In verdant shades and hues
Only in the autumn
When shrouded shadows reign
And bitter breezes blow
Then, and only then
On blazing hills and winding lanes
Do their true colors show . . . .
—R. Howard Blount, Jr.
I understand that poets do not like when their poems are over-analyzed, but to me subtle meanings and personal interpretations are what make poetry even more powerful than when taken solely as simple lines and lovely phrases. When I read my poem True Colors aloud to my students in one of its early incarnations, I told them the poem was not just about trees. One of my students spoke up and said, “It’s about people.” At that moment I knew not only that the poem was accomplishing my intention, but also that my students were learning how to uncover deeper meaning in literature. Yes, this poem is clearly about trees, but it is also about the beauty in all of us that is born out of adversity.
Robert Frost’s Nothing Gold Can Stay received attention when S.E. Hinton used the poem in her young adult novel The Outsiders. The poem gained even further notoriety when it was included in Francis Ford Coppola’s motion picture adaptation of The Outsiders. The poem also inspired Stevie Wonder’s theme song Stay Gold from the movie. The message that nothing lasts forever, or all good things must end applies even to my favorite season. But I smile when I remember, even when the last golden leaf has fallen from the trees, that autumn will be back again next year.
We would love to hear your reflections on the featured quotes in the comments section below, and please share your favorite travel quotes, as well. Also, be sure to check out our other Original Travel Quote Memes.