Falling

Fall is the season of falling. Falling leaves. Sap no longer running. Flowers fading. Red, yellow, purple dying into brown.

Each season reflects the movement of the soul, the eternal motion of the tides we sense within ourselves. Over a lifetime we move from the temporary wrinkles of birth to the etched wrinkles of aging. We love to look at babies. Old folks not so much.

More than a century ago Adalbert Stifter wrote of this in Der Nachsommer (English translation –The Indian Summer):

“Great beauty and youth capture our attention, excite a deep pleasure; however, why shouldn’t our souls gaze at a countenance over which the years have passed? Isn’t there a story there, one unknown, full of pain or beauty, which pours its reflection into the features, a story we can read with some compassion or at least get a slight hint of its meaning? The young point toward the future; the old tell of a past.”

Fall is a favorite season for many of us. At my age, I no longer wonder why.

The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the LORD blows upon it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand forever. [Isaiah 40:7-8]

Fall

Leaves are falling. The sap is finished running. Flowers fade — red,  green, yellow, purple falling into brittle brown.

Each season reflects the eternal motion of the seasons we sense within ourselves. Over a lifetime we move from the temporary wrinkles of the newborn babe to the well-worn lines and wrinkles of aging. We love to look at babies; old folks not so much.

In 1857 Adalbert Stifter pondered this in Der Nachsommer (The Post-Summer) published in English under the title Indian Summer:

“Great beauty and youth capture our attention, excite a deep pleasure; however, why shouldn’t our souls gaze at a countenance over which the years have passed? Isn’t there a story there, one unknown, full of pain or beauty, which pours its reflection into the features, a story we can read with some compassion or at least get a slight hint of its meaning? The young point toward the future; the old tell of a past.”

Fall is the favorite time for many of us. At my age, I no longer wonder why.

  • Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN 55318