Saturday, November 10, 2012

"Pied Beauty:" Noticing the Dappled Things


With all our focus on Hurricane Sandy and the destructive power of nature, I hadn't noticed in these days that fall, my favorite season of all, is passing by. Today I took a walk around our neighborhood and collected leaves that had fallen. It was hard to find the kind of leaves I wanted: colorful and dry. I am planning to dip them in beeswax and make a garland. But many leaves now are brown and wet and sitting in big piles beside fallen trees. I'm grateful for the ones I did find. 

It's been a long time since I took a walk like this, a slow walk where I stop to notice all the dappled things around me. When our teens were toddlers we took walks in our neighborhood all the time, slow walks, where they helped me to notice everything. My thoughts turned to poet Gerard Manley Hopkins S.J. and his magnificent "Pied Beauty."


Glory be to God for dappled things
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings;
        Landscapes plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough;
                And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim.


 All things counter, original, spare, strange;



Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise Him.



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