Trust Anew

AUTUMN CAME

By Mula Veereswara Rao

By ripping cheeks,

with cold breeze,

with twitter of sparrows,

Autumn came!

Autumn came to cover

shivering earth

with colorful leaves carpet!

Autumn floats

like sun’s epitaph

Autumn echoed

like farewell song of birds

in the evening!

Autumn touches

the breath of last leaves

on the verge of falling

with warmth!

Autumn challenges

the confidence of the tree

who hides buds in the heart.

Tomorrow is the first day of autumn. I love autumn: green becomes gold and red and orange. Cinnamon replaces the smell of suntan lotion. Air moves from an oppressive- blanket dripping with humidity to a welcomed companion offering a crisp, cool kiss. Town squares fill with apple cider and bails of straw. Thoughts of pumpkin pie and hot chocolate invite lingering, warm memories, prompting thumbing through receipt books and impulsive grocery store runs. It’s autumn. 
 Mula Veereswara Rao in his poem reminds us of the transformative character inherent in our thoughts about autumn. As he delightfully describes, thinking of autumn invariably prompts thoughts about color mutations and temperature reductions and seasonal migrations. But, in addition to change, Rao introduces another sentiment to this season. Rao introduces trust. The final stanza of his poem reads: “Autumn challenges the confidence of the tree who hide buds in the heart.” Each autumn, as trees let loose their leaves, it is not just a seasonal marker but also a sign of trust and hope. Trees’ leaves fall to the ground signaling the end of one season of life yet encouraging trust in the promise that enough energy remains in the tree to sprout new leaves in the spring that will come. The loss of leaves is a sign of trust that creation will be renewed and reborn despite the present, contradictory reality of death and decay that is autumn.
 The word trust derives from an Old English word, trēowe, meaning “faithful.” Trusting in the promised new life of spring in the face of autumn’s characteristic falling life is an act of faith. While we cannot see the hidden “buds in the heart,” we have faith that they are there and that provision will be made to see their potential translated into reality. So, in some ways, witnessing the advent of autumn has a sacred, iconic moment as creation reminds us of the greater, deeper meanings of life embracing us all. 
 Importantly, that Old English word for “trust,” trēowe, is also the word that forms the root for our modern English word “truth,” trēowth. This means that our notions for what we call truth are not exclusively found in the data of what is known but in the simple yet complex act of trusting. Truth is more relational that we often imagine. And, our trust in the hidden bud of promised spring is but a reminder that some truths are not so much known but hoped for and not so much a guarantee as a promise to keep. 
 In John’s gospel, we are told that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life.” There, John encourages his readers to embrace the relational reality of God, a relationship promised and restored in the words describing the incarnation found at the beginning of John’s gospel and at the end of John’s revelation. In those places, God is portrayed as coming to earth to “dwell”—literally to “pitch a tent”—with humanity. In this context, the truth of Christ’s incarnation is not so much about theological facts or doctrinal dictums but about restoring and establishing relationships between human beings, their Creator, and the rest of creation. The incarnation is a promise of reconciliation and relationships. This is the truth of new life, of potential life, of a promised spring. As we being autumn, that promise is renewed in falling leaves allow our absolute claims to fall away, beckoning our faith to fall into the arms of trust, a relationship that leads to a spring of new life and new possibilities. 
 Happy autumn.

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One comment on “Trust Anew

  1. Mula veereswara Rao says:

    thank you for commenting on the poem. Thank you for taking time
    to read the poem and comments

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