December, the biting cold creeps under our shirts and stays.
All of us have given away whatever we could spare.
Brown and crackling leaves, sheets of bark,
molted feathers, old skins,
To the Earth they go! and we
pull the thick covers around us, and wait.
It’s decaying time, the winter of the year,
the dry and the old falling away to our beloved Earth.
Time to wait, time to gaze,
fix the eyes in the far distance,
fall inward, and dream.
The cypress, old and long dead,
resonates hollow to my knuckles.
She gives away, layer upon layer,
falling down and reaching up with pointed fingers of bark,
falling more beautifully with each wind, each snow and rain.
And what am I left with when the rain and snow
tear away at me, leaving only what She will?
What fingers do I use to point with grace to the blue cold of the sky,
as to each thing I bid farewell?
When the Earth herself is pure, deep, black ice down to the roots,
have I what it takes to hold, to wait,
to dream of the deep, and to dream of the turning,
to know what comes next, to hold back, to inhale, watch and wait,
let the falling away and the icy stillness
make me more simple, more pure, more austere, more beautiful every day?
In the long stillness, seemingly endless,
is there a cell in me somewhere reveling in the new spring rain,
the moisture of someday,
the lush rich humus waiting to open beneath our feet?
Meher Baba Center, SC
Listen to Annelinde reading "The Falling Away":