Consider the Trees . . .

LeafInHandI stand in a cathedral of aspens among grey-green trunks that glisten silvery in the sunlight. A hint of a passing breeze sends down a shower of golden confetti to cover the ground. I walk on a carpet of jewels – gold and garnet, emerald and citrine – that shimmers underfoot.

A single leaf nestles in my outstretched hand. Its red-gold beauty whispers, “Do not fade away. Go out in a blaze of glory.”

* * *

Never mind the lilies of the field. Consider the trees. They don’t fade away into a dirty brown or grey. No, come autumn, they paint the hillsides with amazing hues – yellow, gold, red, orange, even purple. The sight of them gives us thrills. We gasp in awe and amazement, exclaim, “Oh wow! Look at that!” We glory in their beauty. Perhaps they survive the summer just to be able to sport their autumn colours in their last days.

There’s no reason for us to wait for our final days before we show our colours. Why wait to be a grandmother to be a Raging Granny? Or an old woman who wears “purple/ With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me” (per Jenny Joseph)? Take your cue from e. e. cummings who maintained there are two kinds of people: those who are truly alive and those who are merely not-dead.

Neither is there any reason to fade away as we age.  Robert Browning reminds us that “The best is yet to be,/ The last of life, for which the first was made.” Every one of us must know some feisty, so-called “old” person who just will not slow down, who is still opinionated (and doesn’t hesitate to share those opinions), and who can run circles – mentally if not physically – around us so-called younger folk. Who still sports his/her colours with pride and passion.

It’s not easy to strut your colours. It takes courage, chutzpah, perhaps even a bit of egotism. What is really essential is faith in yourself — that who you are and what you do and say will bring colour into someone else’s life. When we show our colours, we give others hope and joy, and perhaps even the courage to show their own colours.

Down with drab. Let’s colour the world. Let’s be truly alive.


#Meditation #OldAge #Contemplation #Autumn #GoldenYears #LessonsFromTrees #MargaretGHanna


Excerpts from Grandpa Hanna’s diary:

Wednesday, November 14, 1917: dug rhubarb
Monday, November 19, 1917: dug up plants & fruit bushes in old garden. Planted same in new garden in pm.
Thursday, November 22, 1917: planted raspberries

When Abe built the new house clear across the section in 1917, he moved more than the buildings from the old homestead site. All the garden plants came, too. Perhaps the conversation about the move went something like this:

Addie: When are you planning to move the garden plants over?

Abe: Can’t right now. We’re busy working on the barn and the new house. The garden will have to wait till next spring.

Addie: You’re not too busy to scrape out that slough or work on church business.

Abe: That’s different. We need the pond to collect water for the livestock. I’ll move the garden come spring.

Addie: And next spring you’ll be too busy with seeding and harrowing. Then come summer, you’ll be too busy with summerfallowing and breaking new land. Next thing you know, it will be fall and you’ll be too busy with harvesting. You want raspberry jam and gooseberry jam and rhubarb pie, don’t you, so move those plants over now before the snow flies. Otherwise they won’t be grown enough to produce fruit for that jam you like so much.

And so, the garden was moved.

Of course, maybe it didn’t happen that way at all. But given my grandmother’s opinionated and outspoken personality, I wouldn’t be surprised if she had something to do with the timing of the move.


#HannaFamilyHistory #Garden #Humour #HistoricalFiction #MargaretGHanna #OurBullsLooseIntown

Got To Finish Tonight!

We clomped into the house at 1:50 am, collapsed on kitchen chairs, exhausted, bone-tired. Mom came down in her nightie and housecoat. “I heard the combine come in. All done?” she asked.

“Yep,” Dad said.

“How’d it go?”

“Wheat was getting tough but we finished the 80 acres.” He pulled off his boots, ran his hands through dust- and chaff-laden hair. “Good thing Glen helped with his combine and truck.”

I went to the sink and washed grime from my face. “I’m off to bed,” I said.

“Me, too,” said Dad.

Next day we watched the snow come down.


(The 99-word challenge – write about exhaustion. The story – a true one. At harvest time, farmers often have to race against the weather to get the crop in before the weather changes.)


#99WordChallenge #FarmLife #NonFiction #RuralLife #Weather #MargaretGHanna #OurBullsLooseInTown

Autumn Fashion Parade



The ash and birch, in golden garb,
Stand side by side,
Competing for Best Dressed award.

The apple tree
Quite stubbornly
Maintains last season’s greenery.

The poplar is disconsolate,
Its dress in tatters lies
Shredded by a vengeful wind,
Its bare arms breach the skies.

MountainAshCranberry, Virginia Creeper, gooseberry, rose
Proudly parade their new red clothes.
“Look at my berries,” cries the Mountain Ash.
The pear tree sniffs, “I’m the Best in Class.”



#Poetry #Autumn #MargaretGHanna #FashionParade



The fallen leaves lay strewn on the ground,
resplendent in their gold, whilst up above
the screeching jay — a blaze of brilliant blue —
competes with magpie at the feeding station.
Sparrows, dressed in drab, with dove and finch
forage and feed on scratchings in the grass,
and startled, whir as one to hide and watch
and wait while tawny, sharp-clawed predator
creeps, crouches, switches tail, departs.
The last warm wind of summer shakes the trees
and sends leaves rattling down. The lady bugs
take shelter ‘neath this blanket, sleep and dream.

For Autumn’s not the end, just Nature’s pause.
To give much needed rest, its only cause.


#Sonnet #Autumn #AutumnalEquinox #Poetry