October 14th, 2007

bruiloft te Kana

Birthday Lauren (Day 2)

For the first time in the life of our almost eleven years old daughter we invited our families to visit us for her birthday on one day. 


In other years all family members came on different days in the week before or after her birthday. It was a big wish of our daughter to have family over for her birthday. That happens to every child in our neighborhood. And is more convenient for us. When they all left, just half an hour ago coen_wessel   and I looked at each other and we said: “We should have done this ten years ago”. It worked out very well. 
Madonna del "Magnificat" (detail)

Fall, Leaves, Fall

Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away.
Lengthen night and shorten day.
Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow.
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in the drearier day.
    Emily Bronte

You should think one loves the rose and hates the snow that comes in its place. Not so Emily Bronte in this poem. She welcomes wreaths of snow with a smile, loves the falling leaves and sings when the decay of the night is taken in by the next dreary day.

My question is: “Why smile when wreaths of snow blossom where the rose should grow?”

I have pulled the Arthurian Tarot from my little bag with deck-titles to answer this question. I sensed a certain bitterness in the poem, rejecting the growth of the rose, and welcoming the coldness of the snow. I sounded like the Queen of Swords to me. Hence my surprise that I pulled the Spear Knight, that swift riding Way-Shower of the Spear, protector of the suit of Spears, who belongs to the heat of the midday in the summer, when there are no shadows to hide in. 


But I already know… Spears make wounds. Their wounds point to the heart of a problem in this deck. It is the task of the Knight of Spears to guide the trajectory of our life’s purpose and to awaken us to action. In the poem the Bronte chooses for the standstill of the winter, up and against the growth of the rose. I think in need that. The action for me that guides me now, and where I should take action is to stop ‘growing’. In my life that means I should not plan another course or workshop.

The change of the seasons is a good thing, wreaths of snow deserve a welcoming smile: growth needs a balance.