All this falling

As I walk through the woods along the lake, I’m quickened by nature’s palette of subtle and vivid colors. At the same time — as the leaves drop and the dark skeletons of the trees begin to emerge — I’m sobered by the fact that all green, growing, and glorious things must pass away.

And yet, as the years go by, the more I find that these two feelings dance with each other. The fact that all things must die makes me ever more grateful for the beauties of nature and human nature.

If we let that gratitude animate us to care for the natural and human communities, then what falls to the ground around us and among us will seed the flowering of new life.

As Rilke says in this lovely and well-known poem, “…there is Someone, whose hands, infinitely calm, hold up all this falling.”

We are that Someone’s hands. Let’s hold all this falling in ways that will help the earth and its creatures rise…

Parker J. Palmer

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