I love the way that this poem uses just four words to combine a feeling (loneliness) with an image (a leaf falling). I love how e. e. cummings broke all the rules of poetry to create his own art form. In this poem, I notice that the shape of the letters on the page are like a leaf fluttering down through the air and then landing. I also notice that the two “L’s” together in the fifth line look like two people together, and the single “L” in the second to last line looks like a person alone. I honor Professor Larry Daub, because it was in his college poetry class that I first encountered and learned to appreciate this poem.
This poem is appropriate today as the leaves are falling and have fallen in my yard and my neighborhood. Today I walked through sidewalks thick with leaves—bright yellow; bright red; red and yellow with a few green ones sprinkled on top. My feet go shush shush through the leaves. I love that! When I came to my sacred spot in the woods where two giant oaks stand, their leaves were a golden russet brown, thick on the ground and falling steadily through the air.
In contrast to the above poem that I celebrate so much, the feeling that I have on this day of falling leaves is not loneliness. I feel mostly joy and connection with nature. On the other hand, I was alone on my walk and I know that for me to be healthy I need connection with other people. I think we all do.
If you are feeling lonely, I hope you will reach out. I believe that connection is possible and that there are people who care. If the autumn leaves are falling where you are, I invite you to experience their beauty in whatever way is accessible to you.
Sprit of Life and Love, Spirit of Beauty, be here now.
May we all find ways to appreciate the beauty around us. May we know that we are connected to trees and to earth in this time of changing seasons.
May those who are lonely find companionship. May every human being know that they are not alone and that they are loved.
May it be so.
Rev. Andrew (Drew) Frantz
November 11, 2021