The leaves are still green on the trees in my yard. Green, I repeat, and the calendar says today is well past the Ides of October. Those few leaves that obeyed nature and started to change are being stripped from their branches today, going directly from green to brown - and then to the ground.
In all this I did find one plant hanging in there, daring winter to come, defying the looming frost. In our garden I found one last okra bloom.
There it is. The last okra bloom of summer. Okay, so it's not as well know or poetically appealing as the last rose of summer, but I go with what I see.
That okra plant is still alive and kicking it! Nearby the bloom, there are tiny okra pods developing just in time for me to add to my vegetable soup or to my western North Carolina version of gumbo.
Fortitude is the word I'm thinking of right now as I see these tall plants swaying in the fall winds. Never give up. Hang in there until your purpose is fulfilled.
I've taken a little liberty here and substituted the okra concept for rose in the poem that I studied all those years ago, with apologies to poet Thomas Moore and my English Lit teacher, and thanks to Bartleby.com here's the first stanza reinvented:
|The Last Okra Bloom of Summer|