How Surely Gravity's Law - Ranier Maria Rilke

 Branches. Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA. February 2014.

Branches. Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA. February 2014.

How surely gravity’s law,

strong as an ocean current,

takes hold of even the strongest thing

and pulls it toward the heart of the world.

 

Each thing

each stone, blossom and child

is held in place.

Only we, in our arrogance,

push out beyond what we belong to

for some empty freedom.

 

If we surrendered

to earth’s intelligence

we could rise up rooted, like trees.

Instead we entangle ourselves

in knots of our own making

and struggle, lonely and confused.

 

So, like children, we begin again

to learn from the things,

because they are in God’s heart;

they have never left him.

 

This is what the things can teach us:

to fall,

patiently to trust our heaviness.

Even a bird has to do that

before he can fly.