The Last Rose of Summer
When I was a kid, my mother had something called “The Laughing Record.” You played it on a wind-up gramophone, and it would begin with a soulful rendition of “The Last Rose of Summer” with its maudlin lyrics. After a phrase or two a man and woman would begin laughing. Another phrase, more laughing , yet another phrase and more laughing until the laughing was uncontrollable . My friends and I would play this record and try our very best not to laugh – or sometimes we would force our laughs. Much to my surprise I Googled “The Laughing Record”, and there on uTube was a video of someone with an old gramophone playing the record. The song was different but still mournful, and the spasms of laughing inserted between phrases were the same.
I don’t know as I’ve seen the last rose of summer here in Hanover yet , but I have seen the first leaves of fall. And they are no laughing matter. As much as I love fall, it is still a sobering season. Gone is the carefree spirit of summer. It is a warning: if fall arrives can winter be far behind? But fall is also an invitation to engage all your senses.
Really look at the leaves on the trees: the oranges, the reds, the golds. Listen to the sound of rustling leaves as you walk through them. Smell an apple as you bite into it. Taste the cider and the pumpkin pie. Feel the touch of the sun and the breeze.
If there is an Indian Summer day, drop whatever it is you think you SHOULD be doing , run outside, and enjoy the gift. But hurry! Winter comes when fall is only halfway done – at least in this part of New Hampshire.
© Dorothy C. Judd
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