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Season of smoke

The crisp air of this dry autumn is in sharp contrast to the smoke blown at us by those who are telling us how to vote.

The political rhetoric–coming from all parties (including the Tea Party) and independents and those groups funded anonymously–is simply insulting.

Yesterday, away from political signs, I enjoyed an outing on the Glade Top Trail, near the Taney County-Ozark County border in the Mark Twain National Forest. The sunlight coming through the leaves made me think of this poem, “Pied Beauty,” by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

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 all trades, 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.

Unlike the poet Hopkins, I took joy in seeing a landscape that had not been plotted and pieced and plowed. But I’m with Hopkins in enjoying the beauty of dappled things, the fickle and freckled, and the contrasts of swift and slow, sweet and sour, dazzling and dim.


About Harry Styron

I'm a lawyer and mediator who lives in Branson, Missouri, whose professional interests involve real estate, nonprofits, and local government. As of 2022, I'm shrinking my legal practice so that I have more time to mediate real estate disputes. I'm happy to mediate using video platforms like Zoom and WebEx, or in person anywhere in Missouri.

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