10 October 2008

This falling

Autumn in Barcelona was bound to be different than in Burlington, or Bloomington, or Brussels. In fact, it is a combination of them all, with the addition of the saturated sun that drenches seaside towns. Although I dearly miss the vivid colors of Vermont and southern Indiana, there are still crunchy leaves and cool nights, that smell in the air of changing weather. We went up into the hills a couple of weekends ago for a friend's wedding, and we shivered in our party dresses (I secretly enjoyed it). And since September and October have been quite rainy, there are hints of the cool gray skies of Brussels.

During the day I can still wear sandals, although in looking around I've noticed that pretty much no one else wears them any more (except for the tourists): it seems that a change of seasons requires a change in wardrobe and footwear, whether or not the temperature is balmy. I always take my jacket with me now, the bright green one that makes me happy. I hope that one of these weekends we'll be able to get out of the city and wade through some fallen leaves.

My favorite autumn poem is Rilke's "Herbst." I may have posted it before, but it is worth savoring again. The "And yet" of the last stanza takes my breath every time.

This poem today is in honor of my grandfather, who is very ill. I pray that he is held "with infinite softness" in God's hands this fall.

by Rainer Maria Rilke (tr. Edward Snow)

The leaves are falling, falling as if from far off,
as if in the heavens distant gardens had withered:
they fall with gestures that say “no.”

And in the night the heavy earth falls
from all the stars into loneliness.
We are falling. This hand is falling.
And look at the others: it is in them all.

And yet there is One who holds this falling
with infinite softness in his hands.


Brooke said...

What a wonderful blog, lovely images and wonderful etsy shop goodies! Thank you for stopping by and drawing me to your site.

My deepest sympathies to you and your family. Moved by your words, Brooke

Robin said...

Thank you, Brooke!