The Leaves Have Left

by forumholitorium

Days turn to weeks. I have thought of this blog many times, tested recipes, half written entries in my head. Yet: silence.

As the wheel of the seasons steadily turns from fall to winter, it is time to bunker down, pull on a bulky wool sweater, prepare a pot of herbal tea, wrap yourself up in a blanket, and listen to yourself.

What was the harvest like? What has made me happy? What can I be thankful for? What is still unresolved? Where would I like to go? What do I need?

I relish this emptying out, this coming to a close. It is a period of rest to enjoy before everything revs up in spring and starts anew, a time to gather your strength and come to a still point.

A friend sent me a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke that complements the view out my window of naked walnut trees. Unsatisfied with several English translations I read, I translated it myself. Here is my version:


The leaves are falling, falling as from afar, as if distant gardens in the heavens were wilting; they fall with a shake of their head.

And during the night, the heavy earth falls from all the stars into solitude.

We are all falling, This hand is falling. And look at others. It is in everything.

And yet there is One whose hands hold this falling with infinite gentleness.

Sometimes the grey becomes too much and color is necessary to revive sinking spirits: the red-orange of a butternut squash, the purple-red of cabbage accompanied by raisins and cinnamon, the deep green of lamb’s lettuce bathed in pumpkin seed oil, the dark blueberry-colored wool becoming the aforementioned bulky sweater. Here is one last image of the golden autumn, preserved in my new sweater. So warm, so fine, so cheer-inducing.