Posts Tagged ‘Autumn’

One Sand Grain


One Sand Grain Among The Others in Winter Wind

I wake with my hand held over the place of grief in my body.
“Depend on nothing,” the voice advises, but even that is useless.
My ears are useless, my familiar and intimate tongue.
My protecting hand is useless, that wants to hold the single leaf to the tree
and say, Not this one, this one will be saved.

~After: Jane Hirshfield Poems~

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Pods of summer crowd around the door;
I take them in the autumn of my hands.

Last night I heard the first cold wind outside;
the wind blew soft, and yet I shiver twice:

Once for thin walls, once for the sound of time.

~William Stafford~
The Way It Is: New and Selected Poems

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Autumn Day: Rilke

Lord: it is time. The huge summer has gone by.
Now overlap the sundials with your shadows,
and on the meadows let the wind go free.

Command the fruits to swell on tree and vine,
grant them a few more warm transparent days,
urge them onto fulfillment then, and press
the final sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now, will never have one.
Whoever is alone will stay alone,
will sit, read, write long letters through the evening,
and wander on the boulevards, up and down,
restlessly, while the dry leaves are blowing.

~Rainer Maria Rilke

excerpted from Ahead Of All Parting: The Selected Poetry and Prose of RMR
edited and translated by Stephen Mitchell

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here on planet autumn

every success and every seeming failure is applauded
no bigger, no better, no smaller, no lesser
you see, it is all life’s treasure expressing itself

and even if a little seedling never quite pushes through to survive
that is glorified and celebrated as life’s gift to us
it is enough
no bigger, no better, no smaller, no lesser

everything wants to come to fruition and fruition has many levels
just witnessing life for a singular moment
asks you to come to it willingly, yes willing indeed
to see the precious glory within it.

here, on Planet Autumn, patience is not a virtue
move as an inchworm or a rocket ship
no bigger, no better, no smaller, no lesser

other edicts: waste not, want not
you won’t find them here
Even just an inner desire that never meets paper and pen,
is a song of praise on your lips
It’s yours and yours alone, and
it is enough.

You will find life brimming from its very essence, here on Planet Autumn.
And you will hear, ever so delicately, the song of exaltation to
The Great One, painted on every single leaf

Keep the song of praise always on your lips,
this is true wealth that can never be taken from you.

Evening falls now on Planet Autumn, while you are sleeping,
angels come and paint the song of praise on your lips.
And they whisper in your ear of your preciousness.

Come, here, listen.

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Planet Autumn

Sometimes I wish I could drive inside of autumn, not up to it, not to its borders, not by it, not near it, not walking through it, but *IN* it.  I want to enter the autumnal world; surely it has its own planet.  This world where there is only autumn and I just let it surround and engulf me.

Here, the richness and layers of yellows, and golds, and reds, and burgundies and oranges and so many shades in between.  The light slanting down on the colors just so; it will make your heart weep.  This perfect beautiful, striking, flaming world where there is no concern about the stock market, occupying Wall Street, today’s economy, Obama’s gray hair.  Ha!  My gray hair!

My utopian autumnal world does exist.  I know, for a brief moment today I was there.

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Like A Leaf

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I asked the leaf whether it was frightened because it was
autumn and the other leaves were falling.  The leaf told me,
“No.  During the whole spring and summer I was completely
alive.  I worked hard to help nourish the tree, and now much
of me is in the tree.  I am not limited by this form.  I am also
the whole tree, and when I go back to the soil, I will continue
to nourish the tree.  So I don’t worry at all.  As I leave this
branch and float to the ground, I will wave to the tree and tell
her, ‘I will see you again very soon.'”

That day there was a wind blowing and, after a while, I saw
the leaf leave the branch and float down to the soil, dancing
joyfully, because as it floated it saw itself already there in the
tree.  It was so happy.  I bowed my head, knowing that I have
a lot to learn from the leaf.

Thich Nhat Hanh
Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

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It does not astonish or make us angry that it takes a
whole year to bring into the house three great white
peonies and two pale blue iris.  It seems altogether
right and appropriate that these glories are earned
with long patience and faith. . . . and also that it is
altogether right and appropriate that they cannot last.
Yet in our human relations we are outraged when
the supreme moments, the moments of flowering,
must be waited for. . . . and then cannot last.  We
reach a summit, and then have to go down again.

May Sarton

* * * * * *

There is so very much that we can learn from the natural world.  We are constantly surrounded by reminders of the cycles of life, the natural order of things, and if we can just recognize and appreciate the lessons of the natural world, our own lives could become so much easier and so much more comprehensible.  We live our lives in seasons much as the flowers and the trees and the animals do, and one of the reasons for which we tend to become unhappy or frustrated is because we sometimes expect to live in perpetual spring or summer, not allowing or wanting winters to be a normal, important part of our lives.

One of the reasons that spring is so beautiful in the colder areas of the world is because the flowers are coming after a long period without them–we’ve been deprived of their presence for a long time, so they mean much more to us.  We all know that for everything there is a season, but most of us would like to make those seasons longer, or to have some control over them.

But we have to let life be what it is.  Life is a beautiful experience, yet we tend to diminish its beauty by placing our false expectations on it.  One of my favorite art forms is that of ice sculpting, for the artists have a clear understanding of just how short-lived their works will be–yet they’re willing to put in hours of work to create beautiful works of art.  It’s possible that some of the most beautiful sculptures ever made have melted into puddles of water, only seen by a limited number of people for a very short time.

Enjoy the great parts of life, but enjoy them in the right here and right now, which is truly the only time that we can experience anything at all.  And when their time to leave comes, let them go with grace and dignity rather than trying to hold on to them in desperation or fear that you may never experience them again.  You will, if you simply let life be life, and accept the seasons of our lives with love and trust that they will return.

* * * * * *

For further thought:

A garden that never died eventually would weary.
Robbed of springtime, unacquainted with the
extraordinary perfume that rises from the soil after
it’s had its rest, the garden that winter doesn’t visit
is a dull place.  The return every spring of earth’s
first freshness would never be kept if not for the
frosts and rot and ripe deaths of fall.  So when I go
out from the garden for the last time in autumn,
I leave the gate open behind me.

Michael Pollan

Source: Living Life Fully

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a blustery autumn day today
the last of the maples
the cherries and the stately alders
releasing their leaves

they compel me to set free
the old that hangs on

in favor of what newness
may blossom
from my limbs


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