Love Note: Giving Trees

Dear Ones-

This poem makes me think of Shel Silverstein’s classic children’s book entitled “The Giving Tree.”  In the story, a boy and a tree share a lovely relationship during the boy’s childhood, and when the boy grows into adulthood he asks and asks of the tree, who lovingly and willingly gives until it has nothing left to offer the ‘boy’ (by then an old man) except its stump on which the boy can sit and rest.

In this poem by Ranier Maria Rilke we are taken in a different direction with the idea of giving.  He encourages us to live throughout the extent of our years with a spirit of generosity (throughout a long and uncomplaining life) with the simple goal of giving of ourselves…not unlike the tree in “The Giving Tree”.  Dissimilar to the Giving Tree, however, Rilke opens the door of possibility to quiet growth and bearing of fruit as outcomes of our self-sharing. Quite a different vibe from the way things turn out in Silverstein’s tale.

Then again, maybe there was much fruit born of the Giving Tree’s experience of generosity.   Maybe we overlook that as we see only what our eyes show us.
Perception is a powerful thing.

Hoping that you are well in all ways,

The Apple Orchard

Come let us watch the sun go down
and walk in twilight through the orchard’s green.
Does it not seem as if we had for long
collected, saved and harbored within us
old memories? To find releases and seek
new hopes, remembering half-forgotten joys,
mingled with darkness coming from within,
as we randomly voice our thoughts aloud
wandering beneath these harvest-laden trees
reminiscent of Durer woodcuts, branches
which, bent under the fully ripened fruit,
wait patiently, trying to outlast, to
serve another season’s hundred days of toil,
straining, uncomplaining, by not breaking
but succeeding, even though the burden
should at times seem almost past endurance.
Not to falter! Not to be found wanting!Thus must it be, when willingly you strive
throughout a long and uncomplaining life,
committed to one goal: to give yourself!
And silently to grow and to bear fruit.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke ~