It Will Not Stay, It Has Not
This past week, on Tuesday, we had snow in Edmonton. Of course we all knew it wouldn't stay, it's too early, too unusual. (Though not that unusual according to sources).
Nothing stays, though, does it? Everything is always changing, in flux, we move forward and forward. Though the following poem is about early October snow, it will do just as well for early September snow.
Early October Snow
by Robert Haight
It will not stay.
But this morning we wake to pale muslin
stretched across the grass.
The pumpkins, still in the fields, are planets
shrouded by clouds.
The Weber wears a dunce cap
and sits in the corner by the garage
where asters wrap scarves
around their necks to warm their blooms.
The leaves, still soldered to their branches
by a frozen drop of dew, splash
apple and pear paint along the roadsides.
It seems we have glanced out a window
into the near future, mid-December, say,
the black and white photo of winter
carefully laid over the present autumn,
like a morning we pause at the mirror
inspecting the single strand of hair
that overnight has turned to snow.
As soon as snow falls, it changes, begins to shift, melt, or settle. And we, too, change, grow, age. Our hair greys. Our bodies betray us in all sorts of ways.
Ever since I read Rilke's Archaic Torso of Apollo, I've had the closing line in my head.
When snow falls in September, it reminds us always there is change. Does anything stay the same?
Relationships change, deepen, they sustain us. Sometimes they wane or wander. Friendships come and go in strange and unexpected turns. Our extended family members let us go, release us, we sail from each other, on different oceans. Surprise is a constant. Change is a constant. Bewilderment, sometimes, too.
There is a poem by Jean Valentine that begins:
Orange peels, burned letters, the car lights shining on the grass,
everything goes somewhere—and everything we do—nothing
ever disappears. But changes. The roar of the sun in photographs.
Inching shorelines. Ice lines. The cells of our skin; our meetings,
our solitudes. Our eyes.
Continue reading here.
You must change your life.
Sometimes this is a huge needful cry inside of me. At other times, it's an acknowledgement of what is, regardless.
I know people who are experiencing real, hard life changes, some glorious, some painful, some full of worry. And at any given time, we're going to be witness to serious health issues, good news, loss, love, disappointment. We see each other stumble, persist, achieve goals, fail, start anew.
As Jean Valentine says, nothing disappears, just changes. The snow melts into the earth. Rain comes. Tomorrow the sun will come out and roar in our photographs.