Holding the Fall

NASA photo of total lunar eclipse
NASA photo of total lunar eclipse

The leaves are falling, falling as from far,
like distant gardens withered in the heavens;
They fall with slow and lingering descent.

And in the night the heavy Earth, too, falls
from out the stars into the Solitude.

Thus all doth fall.  This hand of mine must fall
And lo! the other one — it is the law.
But there is One who holds this falling
Infinitely softly in His hands.

~Rainer Maria Rilke  “Autumn”


We got up at 3 AM to witness the total lunar eclipse,
to wonder at the simplicity of shadow and movement
on a scale too grand to fathom, the syzygy of connection of sun, earth, moon.

The moon was overshadowed, as if fallen from grace.
But the One who holds this falling, softly lifted it back in place.

I don’t know how ancient man reacted to something so radical
as a fading-to-blood-red moon,
but this modern woman was gob-smacked,
grateful for the miracle of moonshine.


NASA photo
NASA photo


3 thoughts on “Holding the Fall

  1. i love this site, your words and the poetry and photos. I had the same thought as I watched the eclipse? Had ancient man thought the world was ending? Or beginning?


  2. This was a spectacular eclipse. Saw the whole event through my windshield, like a drive-in movie, while heading west across PA on I-80. Couldn’t help but think of the eclipse scene from ” A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” by Mark Twain– a favorite Classic Comic (I liked the pictures as well as the words) from days of yore.


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