The autumn storm freed the last remaining leaves from the rigid boughs.
Faded and yellow or rusty brown; rustling in their dryness and blown far and wide, they cover the way.
What once shot forth with a shimmer of green in springtime, what once offered cool shade in the sultry midday heat of the summer sun, now lies dead and trampled on the damp earth:
– Prey to decomposition and food for decay!
This is the anxious time of swirling fog in the aphelion!
This is the great dying away of nature! – –
Thus speak sensitive poets as they grieve for the departed summer.
Yet: has all life really died away?
Have the boughs really become so rigid and lifeless since they had to let their leaves go? –
Raise your eyes from the ground and resist the spell of corruption; then you will see everywhere swelling buds, and there the hazel already bears the first still hidden clusters of blossom!
Scarcely has the fruit been harvested and the last leaf has fallen, when the promise of new green, new blossom and the new majesty of spring is made manifest.
If now a short sequence of warm summer days followed, you could find at once the hint of fresh green on every bush.
But there are still icy storms ahead; and so it is good if for now the swelling buds stay closed. The life in them still needs protection.
And yet: – hardly has the snow turned to water and trickled into the furrows in the fields, then will stir what is now, almost forcibly, restrained within the bud.
Every year you will see spring arrive again so quietly, and time after time it takes you by surprise as its youthful greenness appears almost overnight.
A few sunny days following warm rainfall and the new leaves are already on every twig.
For a time lasting too long for you, life must use all its strength to restrain itself, so it might protect its work from destruction.
Then it shakes off all its bonds, and light-filled creation shoots forth everywhere …
Do you not see the lesson nature teaches you here?!
You too are certainly not always close to the light.
You too have your seasons whose pattern is determined by the rhythm of your own life.
Scarcely did you think that everything had been attained, scarcely did you feel completely assured in your resplendent power – when you were overcome suddenly with an exhaustion which day by day stripped you of your confidence, until in the end everything your pride brought forth lies before you on the ground ...
Now you think that all the life within you has died away; you imagine it is idle folly you hear when you are told that your exhaustion holds the surest promise of new, vital activity.
You still do not know your seasons, and refuse to understand that your spirit too can only be effective within the rhythm of change. –
Even in the days when you are furthest from the light, life is at work within you.
What is to come is being prepared within you, though you have no knowledge of it …
Behold! You will again be as close to the light as you once were!
You will unfold into new glory after bearing your periods of quietude with patience! –
Do not be deceived into surrendering, sad and oppressed, your mind and your desires to gloomy dreams of sorrow, like one abandoned by hope!
Be aware of your ever renewing power, and believe in yourself!
You create your destiny in your stillest hours, and in the days when you are furthest from the light the seeds are formed in you to which a new springtime will give visible form! – –
Learn to trust in yourself and drive all restlessness from your soul so that stillness might create within you the things that are to come!