O World, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide great skies!
Thy mists that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with color! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!
Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this:
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart. Lord, I do fear
Thou'st made the world too beautiful this year.
My soul is all but out of me, --let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.
-Edna St. Vincent Millay
I have felt this, keenly.
I just spoke of it here and it seems to be fringing the edges of my heart these days...this swelling and bursting. Longing and aching.
And, yes, it begins with the splitting wide of my heart to make room for all of the glory ringed round. It stops me short when I chase the boys under the canopy of heaven and the sun leaks through the limbs and showers yellow all about us. The boys, they flit and fly. They try to catch even a single leaf to put in their pocket where it will burn amber. And I watch and I know. Later this week, we will find their ashes when we go to wash and crumbled gold dust will sift to the floor. The grit beneath my feet will chafe and I will look up and know. We tried to hold it close enough.
Yes, I know this feeling. This burning. This desire. This looking all around and seeing beauty, heavy and dripping.
But soon, these trees will stop clapping and only their bony limbs will remain. Stripped of their raiment, they will stand naked and cold against the leaden skies. And what then? Will I be like a stilted lover whose heart has cooled with the dawn, chasing the shadows of night so as not to be discovered cleaving to a naked frame?
Oh, how fickle my heart is.
Passion is not just throbbing emotion. It is a spreading out. An undergoing. An allowing of things to pass. A suffering, even.
It is me, hands outstretched, receiving. Always.
Yes, I want all of this beauty, all of this joy, all of this goodness. I want to press it to my lips. I want to tattoo memories in the hidden places, so I will always remember.
But I need to pray to be pulled apart so that my soul is all but out of me. And, in the opening that is created, I need God to fall in.
Because, Lord, I have to hold thee close enough.
There is a winter coming.