A Love for Lightness

…I have been younger in October
than in all the months of spring
walnut and may leaves the color
of shoulders at the end of summer
a month that has been to the mountain
and become light there
the long grass lies pointing uphill
even in death for a reason
that none of us knows…

my love is for lightness
of touch foot feather
the day is yet one more yellow leaf
and without turning I kiss the light
by an old well on the last of the month
gathering wild rose hips
in the sun
~W. S. Merwin from “The Love of October”

A wind gusts through shedding branches
stripping them bare
and carrying the leaves to fields
far away, to a diverse gathering
they have never known before:
chestnut, cherry, birch, walnut, apple, alder,
maple, parrotia, pear, oak, poplar, cottonwood
suddenly all sharing the same fate and grave,
each wearing a color of its own,
falling, falling, soon to blend with others.

There is an exquisite lightness in letting go
of all that feels familiar and safe,
for reasons none of us can actually comprehend.

Can’t help “falling” in love and falling in leaf…


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2 thoughts on “A Love for Lightness

  1. Emily, mom died about 2 hours ago in the middle of the night of her 65th wedding anniversary. I wanted you to know how much deep joy you brought to her last years. The beauty you gave. She and I would share songs and poetry from here and occasionally notice if the other commented. Thank you for being here. It’s the wee dark hours and I know this hasn’t hit me yet, but it will. And I know your posts will remind me of mom and be a great comfort.


  2. Dear Kelley, your message brought me back to the dark autumn night when my mother passed to heaven – she is the one who taught me to look for the light around me and to find the beauty of words. May your mother’s memory always bring you comfort and joy when you need her. You must have had such a very special relationship to read together during her final years. Hugs to you over the miles and thank you for letting me know. Love, Emily


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