Autumn Leaves, Grass, and the Ideal of Nature

Kahlil Gibran writes of a conversation in Nature (his 1918 work “The Madman: His Parables and Poem”):

“Said a blade of grass to an autumn leaf, “You make such a noise falling! You scatter all my winter dreams.”

Said the leaf indignant, “Low-born and low-dwelling! Songless, peevish thing! You live not in the upper air and you cannot tell the sound of singing.”

Then the autumn leaf lay down upon the earth and slept. And when spring came she waked again — and she was a blade of grass.

And when it was autumn and her winter sleep was upon her, and above her through all the air the leaves were falling, she muttered to herself, “O these autumn leaves! They make such noise! They scatter all my winter dreams.”

Richard Jefferies, the writer besotted with Nature, writes (“The Life of the Fields” published in 1884) of watching “the earth….every blade of grass, each separate floret and petal….” 

“Each gives me”, he tells us, “something of the pure joy they gather for themselves….Feeling with them, I receive some, at least, of their fulness of life.” 

Then, he soars.

The hours when the mind is absorbed by beauty are the only hours when we really live, so that the longer we can stay among these things so much the more is snatched from inevitable Time….This is real life, and all else is illusion, or mere endurance. 

Echoing sages, he writes: “To be beautiful and to be calm, without mental fear, is the ideal of nature. If I cannot achieve it, at least I can think it.”

Peace 🙂

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