Faithful All Week

November 8, 2016


Leaves fall and die, and yet anyone who watches the forest carefully will tell you that leaves lead a second life.  In the forest, nothing is lost.  It takes bu a few years for leaves to be turned again into soil, again to nourish the trees, again to turn into a leaf when mingled with air and light.


May we all die like leaves with a resurrection hidden in our dying.  These poems remind me of that reality.  If you find another one in the same vein, please leave it in the comments.



"Another Sunday Morning Comes..."
by Wendell Berry, from A Timbered Choir.

Another Sunday morning comes
And I resume the standing Sabbath
Of the woods, where the finest blooms
Of time return, and where no path

Is worn but wears its makers out
At last, and disappears in leaves
Of fallen seasons. The tracked rut
Fills and levels; here nothing grieves

In the risen season. Past life
Lives in the living. Resurrection
Is in the way each maple leaf
Commemorates its kind, by connection

Outreaching understanding. What rises
Rises into comprehension
And beyond. Even falling raises
In praise of light. What is begun

Is unfinished. And so the mind
That comes to rest among the bluebells
Comes to rest in motion, refined
By alteration. The bud swells,

Opens, makes seed, falls, is well,
By becoming what it is:
Miracle and Parable,
Exceeding thought because it is. 

Immeasurable; the understander
Encloses understanding, thus
Darkens the light. We can stand under
No ray that is not dimmed by us.

The mind that comes to rest is tended
In ways that it cannot intend: 
Is borne, preserved, and comprehended
By what it cannot comprehend. 

Your Sabbath, Lord, thus keeps us by
Your will, not ours. And it is fit
Our only choice should be to die
Into that rest, or out of it.




All Saints 2016

Ben Leese


When I die, may I blaze like a leaf
Flaming yellow and red as the chlorophyll disappears
May the colors be yet one more beauty in a life 
That has always been only a gift


When I die, may I blaze like a leaf
Filling the world around with confidence in its own goodness
When the red veins appear
May they be filled with the confidence of resurrection


When I die, may I blaze like a leaf
Float to the ground, 
Crunch underfoot in that beautiful swish that fresh leaves make
May I not be remembered too long but rather be just a part of the story of the woods


When I die, may I blaze like a leaf
and become again the hummus from which I was made
Human hummus to wait for the great day of raising up again
When the tree of life has its final victory


When I die, may I blaze like a leaf
And may my dying flames point to and trust in
The one tree, leafless and broken, 
that has made the world whole again


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