Spring and Fall: To a Young Child
Márgarét, are you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow's spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
Gerard Manley Hopkins
I won't delve into the popular interpretation of this poem in this post. I just feel like posting it since I felt like I was hearing some of the lines as I took pictures of the beauty of fall by our apartment complex around November of 2010.
That afternoon was a bit chilly, but still good for walking around the complex. There were kids enjoying the beautiful weather and they were in the mood to be taken pictures of. The colors of the leaves of the trees were poignant (simply put) especially for a person like me who didn't grow up to see such deviation in climate and color every year of her life. Alas! I had witnessed the real changing of seasons! And all it took was to come to America. ;p In truth, I did feel as if I have now witnessed the symbolic cycle of life and death that has permeated many a book and poem about life.
Seeing all these bits loveliness right before all the leaves are plucked and swept away to land on grass, on cobblestones, on playgrounds, on canals, on shady corners, on places both seen and unseen, and maybe forgotten, I have to believe in one thing. I have to believe that every ephemeral beauty in our world is seen at its height, at its finest, at its splendor, right before they are taken away forever. I want to believe this. I have to believe this. I have to have faith, that as my father lies unconscious, suffering in every part of his skin, feeling only pain at maybe the last few moments of his life, that there is still beauty and reason to it. That maybe, though I cannot see and feel anything good in what he is going through, in his mind that I cannot speak to anymore, in his unseeing eyes, God is there ---showing him a different scene. A different place. Showing him beauty more beautiful and wondrous than the fall I had witnessed, and that only he can behold. A beauty that is NOT ephemeral, but is lasting and serene and at peace. And that when he goes, he will remember only this, only the wonderful, only the happy and laughable. Only the ephemeral, fleeting yet great, memorable and valuable things his life has had...and not the life that sickness has taken away from him. This is the greatest hope that I raise wtih both hands to the Creator of this cycle of wondrous beholding. This is my hope and prayer for you, Tatay. With all my love.
I love you Tatay.