I love the Fall, of course, the unbearable beauty of the multicolored maples, some red, some with leaves of every color, ranging from green through yellow and orange, fading into brilliant crimson, the copper leaves of the birches, the golden buckeyes and sweetgums, and all the rest.
But this year I am looking down a lot, at the fallen leaves on the ground. There, leaves from many different trees gather, varied in shape, variegated in color, arrayed against the green of the grass like scattered pieces of a kaleidoscope.
It strikes me that this world is so full of beauty that if we were not dulled to it, numbed by familiarity, we would be blinded by tears.
A Broken Circle
The ancient black oak on my route is now down, which left a large stump to match the maple stump in the front yard. I studied the remains of these trees the other day; I would estimate that it would have taken three men, arms outstretched, to encircle those trees; they were that big. Then on Saturday the stumps were gone, reduced to piles of sawdust.
And a block away three other maples, not as large, were taken down. All but one appeared sound. I fear there is something in the air.
And so, another small and daily grief has been added, a small pain every time I look at the broken circles where those trees, now fallen, once stood, living.
Bruce Cockburn stands almost in a genre of his own; how many artists can be described as Christian mystic poets, with a liberation theology flavor? I have been rediscovering old tunes, listening on the CD player in my new old car; here is a fine one, from 1979’s Dancing in the Dragon’s Jaws: