Between the Waters

Of Seasons and Songs

By: EarlB, 2:53 AM GMT on March 29, 2008

A few blogs ago I related a widely expressed idea, certainly not one I would lay
claim to as having invented, but one I certainly felt comfortable with, that
of our living being akin to the passage of seasons in the year.

Regarding that thought, an online colleague pondered whether we are
confined to going through our seasons once in our lifetime, and whether
we even follow the earth/sun's progression of seasons. Here is my answer
in some odd way:

Fifty years ago my grandmother sang a song to me. I remember her singing just
a few lines of the song in her delicate "grandma voice" but this memory has
stayed with me. I remembered only a few words of the song, but, two years
ago, I was lucky enough to share those words and my memory of my grandmother
with a good friend. Soon after, I was presented with the complete lyrics of "Come
Little Leaves", a poem by George Cooper (1838-1927) put to music by
Thomas Crawford. The song was old when my grandma sang it to me, at least
40 years old, I suppose (I've found no information on when the poem/song
was written). This past weekend I heard the music again.

How did it take me two years to finally listen to (and then buy) that song
(versions by two different performers!)? Well, I don't know exactly, but
I did both this weekend. I was excited and then disappointed, too, when I heard
the song again, it was just as I remembered it, but what I really wanted to
hear was my grandmother's voice. I was carried back 50 years ago, carried by
a song about the nearing winter sung to a child in the spring of his life by
a woman already in the autumn of hers.

It is a melancholy song that my grandmother sang to me. She walked me into
autumn to be with her there, with that song. I, of course, went with her. I
went into autumn holding her hand.

In a sense, I have been lost in some un-named season ever since. We live
the seasons, each of us, as we are condemned to do. We drift through seasons
like the little leaves. We are not masters in control of this journey, just as
the wind that blows us is not. We ARE the summation of all of the journeys,
all of the seasons we have seen.

I leave you with a bit of the song, the bit I've remembered all these years,
I'll leave you to imagine a grandmother's voice singing it.

"Come, little leaves,
Said the wind one day;
Come to the meadows
With me to play.
Put on your dresses
Of red and gold;
For summer is past,
And the days grow cold."

"Come Little Leaves"
copyright 1999, Terry Kluytmans

Updated: 3:00 AM GMT on March 29, 2008


I Held The Rose

By: EarlB, 12:49 AM GMT on March 14, 2008

Memory is an interesting panorama of pain and pleasure,
it seems that these two are what we build our past upon,
the sad and happy moments of time behind us. I suppose
it is a blessing that we don't dwell on the routine matters
to make up what we remember most.

The countless hours involved in eating our bowls of cereal
are eclipsed by the minutes spent enjoying the handful of
fresh berries picked from along a hillside path.

The telephone call telling you of tragic news remains a part
of you long after that favorite television program that you
have slept thru so often.

Would we have it any other way? Would we want to change our
manic memory for remembering all or even most? Would we
want to paint a more precise picture if we could?

I held the rose
So long ago,
Held it tight, too well,
And still, the thorn lives
Deep 'neath the skin,
A last remaining tell.


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