( wild geese, west hill, photo by me)
The Wild Geese
Horseback on Sunday morning,
harvest over, we taste persimmon
and wild grape, sharp sweet
of summer’s end. In time’s maze
over fall fields, we name names
that went west from here, names
that rest on graves. We open
a persimmon seed to find the tree
that stands in promise,
pale, in the seed’s marrow.
Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear,
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye
clear. What we need is here.
Fall is turning towards winter. I took this photo near where I work. The honking of the geese seemed disjointed from the smell of brownies wafting through the the air from a lovely bakery next door!
Wendell Berry is one of my favorite poets. His observations and description of the power and wonder of Nature never fails to open my heart.
Harvest is over. The longer nights naturally turn us inward. Time to reflect and remember. Time to wonder about the future. Wendell Berry uses the sunrise colored persimmon to remind us of the gift of life, and of hidden seeds….little bundles of wonder and possibility buried deep inside the ripening fruit. Like all seeds, they carry the promise of the future. The potential to germinate and sprout what will become a new persimmon tree. The future tree found within the seed, that is within the fruit, is the promise of new life, new growth. New possibilities. The tree that stands in promise.
Geese fly over head. Abandon holds them to their way, clear, in the ancient faith: what we need is here.
What we need is here.
If we can only slow ourselves down, to be quiet in our hearts, to see with our eyes clear. What we need is here.
Everything around us reminds us, what we need is here. The wild geese who fly with certainty, following an inner compass. Knowing the way to go. There is the persimmon seed, ready to ripen, soften and grow. It’s all here, around us, in us. There is the inner compass, ready to guide us. Inside of us there is the seed of renewal and awakening ready to come to light, maturing with every breath we take, every beat of our heart.
We hold within us instinct, history and wisdom from the past. We have today to look up and see the geese and to hold and taste the sweet persimmon, and to know and remember. Life, wonder and promise are here today. All around us.
What we need is here.