The Apple Orchard
At long last, at least here in Chicago, I feel like it’s safe to say that Spring has arrived. We had a mild winter, but a long one, and one that seemed to drag on without those our breaks of a day or two shocking warmth in the middle of February to serve as a reminder that – eventually – the season would turn. Early Spring is almost my favorite time of the year, at least in terms of the weather, and today I got to experience the lovely moment of watching folks step out of the building at work and just stop for a moment. Nearly all of them (including me, for sure) tilted their heads back and just drank in the warmth of the day, just for a few seconds, before moving on to eat their lunch or continue their conversation or just walk around the plaza beside the 50-story building where I work.
One thing that I really love about this time of year is the sense of sufficiency. Not necessarily abundance, just yet – for me, at least, that comes a little later – but the feeling that there’s enough. Not just enough to go around, but enough to be shared. Enough to take what we’ve been harboring and building internally over these last long months, and to share it with the world. It makes me think of this lovely poem from Rilke, called The Apple Orchard.
Happy spring, all.
Come let us watch the sun go down
and walk in twilight through the orchard’s green.
Does it not seem as if we had for long
collected, saved, and harbored within us
old memories? To find releases and seek
new hopes, remembering half-forgotten joys,
mingled with darkness coming from within,
as we randomly voice our thoughts aloud
wandering beneath these harvest-laden trees
reminiscent of Durer woodcuts, branches
which, bent under the fully ripened fruit,
wait patiently, to outlast, to
serve another season’s hundred days of toil,
straining, uncomplaining, by not breaking
but succeeding, even though the burden
should at times see almost past endurance.
Not to falter! Not to be found wanting!
Thus must it be, when willingly you strive
throughout a long and uncomplaining life,
committed to one goal: to give yourself!
And silently to grow and to bear fruit.
-Rainer Maria Rilke
This post was written by Jason Frey
Tagged with: poetry