I FIRST POSTED THIS exactly seven years ago. What brought it to mind? A windblown leaf, smoke rising from a friendly old chimney, a word from a distant friend. So I searched. Sure enough, there it was, seven years ago exactly this week. Worth printing again. So timely.

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Warming fires are in the woodstoves daily as well as nightly now, and our small, annual harvest of chestnuts is in. Kathryn has already made her first round of Chestnut Bisque. The view from my kitchen window is a gloriously textured carpet of leaves under the huge, old pecan tree. Puts me in mind of this poem. We’ve had the most colorful autumn in north Miss’sippi that we can remember. The pied beauty of the season just seems to go on and on. Must share this loved poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, which marvels at the incomparable variety and diversity in God’s creative palette. Hopkin’s injunction to us is well-taken. “Praise Him.”

Pied Beauty

Glory be to God for dappled things—
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

~ Gerard Manley Hopkins 1844-89

pied: having patches of two or more colors
brinded: streaked, or patchy coloring
stippled: dotted, flecked, speckled