Sometimes — scalps a Tree —
Her Green People recollect it
When they do not die —
Fainter Leaves — to Further Seasons —
Dumbly testify —
We — who have the Souls —
Die oftener — not so vitally —
~~~ Emily Dickinson (#314)
Mother Nature is far wiser than we who claim to have the souls and say that they do not; these stalwart trees and wild glens and fertile fields where rabbits play, deer nibble, and a trickling stream giggles at our ignorant unknowing.
Loving the message within these two lines: Fainter leaves — to Further Seasons — Dumbly testify. Its relational resonance undisputed. Dumbly as in mute, silent, and far from human stupidity and ignorance. Implied can be the tree that lives and tells of its trials by growing “fainter leaves” or, going deeper, can be the tree that dies and tells of its passing through the fading, dying “fainter leaves” resting upon the ground — either of which give silent testimony to what it has endured. Its testimony held through its ability to remain standing or through its death passed along as nutrients that give new life to others. It is our perception that understands the message of the tree’s living or dying.
A release of waste, of death and letting go, always heralds beginning, and what we see as lifeless is Life Abundant within a tiny world so complex yet seen as simple so that our minds feel superior to the deceptive mystical message. Our short lives powered by busy brains, thinking, thinking, allow little space for testifying to the creative transformative power of the death process Nature honors so well and with such vital recollection.
I place myself into the well of Gaia’s forms not mine or me or thee. Swim in Her ocean and all is revealed, recollected, honored, and soul permeates the world in profusion. I feel the pull of soul and ocean, of psyche and diving, descending, going deeply. Leave behind a tiny piece of decaying wisdom, the sense and thought that transform a brief life to further the compost of civilization’s soil with living organisms in ideas, love, emotion, and presence. Silently carry the passage of time and transformation our words forgot to note and so we lose the vital force and acquire the chaos that is change without wisdom, voices loud but empty of soul … the soul that is vividly abundant within every particle of Gaia.
And yet, the wheel turns with Gaia’s grace and a new face is appearing on the horizon, the feminine principle emerging from Her dwelling deep within so we can see her since we can no longer sense her … her presence becoming known, her graceful shadow is dancing us into remembrance seeking to restore our vital connection to every root and star and waving seaweed frond that feeds all life among the disintegration, promising a change. Change will come, Mother of blue, green, and brown hues is birthing something new out of her womb. What will it be? Will we ever know? Will we experience it in a different form in the loss of a humanity that destroyed our own cradle and refused the gift of transformation? I’m okay with being a “fainter” leaf … whether growing from a charred trunk or decaying into the ground.