Now the leaves have fallen.
The trees have pulled their aliveness
back in from their branches,
down into their fortress trunks
and the dark, subterranean closeness
of their roots.

Every year they let go of
exactly what everyone says
is most beautiful about them
to save their own lives.

The time will come
when you, too, have to drop
all the ways you’ve made yourself worth loving,
and finally learn how
to sit quietly
right in the center
of your own small life.

Only there can you cry the tears
your life depends on.
Only there will you find
the tiny seed
that holds the whole mystery of you
and cradle it
in the warmth of your body
until the spring.

This poem is part of my Four Seasons of Belonging guide with poems and practices for wholeness in every season. Sign up here to get it for free: