Normally, frost such as I saw on the ground this morning at dawn is enervating. I usually get a burst of optimism that is unjustified but makes me feel the day is a pot of gold to play with. 

Maybe I didn’t get enough sleep. Maybe I am too concentrated on planning today’s events and the need to make make things happen. As with “As Frost is best conceived” by Emily Dickinson, my action must be for the future because my concern is for what can be done.

What is: a lively walk in a newly discovered “woodsy trail” and the best that New England fall colors have to offer.

Something else, though, infects my senses.

As Frost is best conceived

By force of its Result — 

Affliction is inferred

By subsequent effect — 


If when the Sun reveal,

The Garden keep the Gash — 

If as the Days resume

The wilted countenance


Cannot correct the crease

Or counteract the stain — 

Presumption is Vitality

Was somewhere put in twain —

The “law” of frost goes into effect this time of year. Drooping plants, hunched shoulders against the cold, and other “Affliction is inferred/By subsequent effect —”.  I was unconscious of my “wilted countenance” until my customary inclination to anticipate the best possible outcome for the day left me at the outset.

“If when the Sun reveal,/The Garden keep the Gash —”; if my day reveals that my mind is unable to throw off this depression, then a greater influence than the minor ones I suspect will have been at work. “If as the Days resume” I don’t return to my usual fondness for risk and expect luck to be my constant companion, the serious question will be, “where is my vitality?”

If I “Cannot correct the crease/Or counteract the stain —” on my mood, then a serious affliction has been unearthed. My normal “Vitality/Was somewhere put in twain — ”. I know this because I’ve been there.

I also believe my country will return to its vitality because I do not believe the present “Gash in our Garden” is at heart a schizophrenia. Do you?

Digest A Poem A Day — Accept What Comes Your Way