Hard to Take to Heart


The thistles, rooted out, throng in again;
The single regal rose is mobbed by weeds;
The plums, the pears, the ripening apples, rain
In the sun; and past summer plants new seeds.

Here, or there, these common yearly things
Repeat, repeat, and gardens do not range:
Yet thistles, roses, fruit trees, birds, and stings
Come to an end, and the church bells sound a change.

These many soft declensions of the day,
So hard to take to heart, bear life away.
~Dunstan Thompson from “Passage”


This winding down,
this descent into
shorter days and longer nights,
this preparation for an autumn austerity,
reminds me of my ongoing emptying,
once so full of fruit and seed,
now clinging to what is left me~
the joys, the tears,
the eyes of my brimming heart.






2 thoughts on “Hard to Take to Heart

  1. Interpreted a little differently:
    This is a time in a woman’s life when she may feel that the great change(s) taking place
    within her are the ‘end’ of a special creative part of all that she had to ‘give.’
    Not so, dear Emily! It is but a culmination of just one selfless, nurturing phase that is now changing —
    not ending. It is a time when she is able to share perhaps the most precious gift she now willingly
    gives to those who are searching for solace, hope, and the true meaning of our earthly existence.
    This gift is: WISDOM. She now cooperates in new ways with her loving God as she plants
    and fertilizes new seeds within her newly adapted womb… And the life-giving cycle continues….


    – “…The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made.
    Our times are in His hand who said, ‘A whole I planned, youth shows but half;
    trust God: see all, nor be afraid.’ ” (Robert Browning)

    – “And suddenly you know: it is time to start something new and trust
    in the magic of beginnings.” (Meister Eckhart)


  2. Lovely , so well stated & true !
    But we got better stuff waiting on the other side where we truly find our home . Thank
    God for putting eternity in our hearts 🙂


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