The trees are undressing, and fling in many places— On the gray road, the roof, the window-sill— Their radiant robes and ribbons and yellow laces; A leaf each second so is flung at will, Here, there, another and another, still and still.
A spider’s web has caught one while downcoming, That stays there dangling when the rest pass on; Like a suspended criminal hangs he, mumming In golden garb, while one yet green, high yon, Trembles, as fearing such a fate for himself anon. ~Thomas Hardy “Last Week in October”
We too are flung into the unknown, trembling tethered in the breezes, unready to let go of what sustains us, fated to be tossed wherever the wind blows us.
If caught up by a silken thread, left to dangle, suspended by faith, we await the hope of rescue, alone and together, another and another, still and still.
“Flung is too harsh a word for the rush of the world. Blown is more like it, but blown by a generous, unending breath.” Annie Dillard
It isn’t possible. The five year old me who had a sudden terrifying revelation that I would some day cease to be has become the almost fifty eight year old me who is more terrified at the head long rush of life than of its end. The world hurtles through space and time at a pace that leaves me breathless. Throughout my fifty-plus years, I have felt flung all too frequently, bruised and weary from the hurry and hubbub.
Good thing there is someone else breathing each breath for me or I would have never made it another minute. I’d be down and gone in a heartbeat.
Now comes a few days of breathing space, taking a respite from routine. I’m lifted lighter, drifting where I’m blown, less weighted with the next thing to do and the next place to be.
Instead I just be and always will be. Be blown away unending. Blown by breath that loves, fills and nurtures, its generous promise hopeful and fulfilled.
The old me simply ceases to be. Blown away.
If only the five year old me could have known.
“Wherever I am, the world comes after me. It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it. Now I understand why the old poets of China went so far and high into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.”
— Mary Oliver