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As Autumn Leaves

naked trees with falling autumn leaves

The mask of bright-leafed gaiety

drops away and displays

the bare truth, vulnerable and thin

without the show of exuberance.

Let’s not pretend, you and I,

that life is easy and fair.

Let’s face ourselves as we truly are:

sometimes empty, sometimes full,

broken, healing, gnarled, and weak;

no need to hide death

with pretty lies of endless health.

Lest our fears deny reality,

let’s accept the silences,

the browning grass, the dry stream beds,

the cracks and blight and hollowed limbs;

the floods and mud, the swarms and storms,

the fire fall, the haunting newess of snow,

the sorrow shadows that couch every joy.

There is a real, gritty beauty

in the finite

and the sublimely flawed;

though we lament the edges of our limits,

being other than perfect and whole,

by limitlessness

we are fully known as other

and, as other, as beloved.

There is freedom in the truth,

in surrendering to Highest Will

that blows and buffets and ebbs

as it carries us.

So, let us be naked and unafraid

as we trust in the Love that made us this way.

Let us be brave

and drop our pretense of perfection

as autumn leaves.

© 2020 Christina Chase


Feature Photo by Kushagra Kevat on Unsplash

Christina Chase View All

Although crippled by disease, I'm fully alive in love. I write about the terrible beauty and sacred wonder of life, while living with physical disability and severe dependency. A revert to the Catholic faith through atheism, I'm not afraid to ask life's big questions. I explore what it means to be fully human through my weekly blog and have written a book: It's Good to Be Here, published by Sophia Institute Press.

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