Ripening

Ripening

The longer we are together
the larger death grows around us.
How many we know by now
who are dead! We, who were young,
now count the cost of having been.
And yet as we know the dead
we grow familiar with the world.
We, who were young and loved each other
ignorantly, now come to know
each other in love, married
by what we have done, as much
as by what we intend. Our hair
turns white with our ripening
as though to fly away in some
coming wind, bearing the seed
of what we know. It was bitter to learn
that we come to death as we come
to love, bitter to face
the just and solving welcome
that death prepares. But that is bitter
only to the ignorant, who pray
it will not happen. Having come
the bitter way to better prayer, we have
the sweetness of ripening. How sweet
to know you by the signs of this world!

Wendell Berry

Love Wins

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2 comments on “Ripening

  1. Duc says:

    Hey Bill, one of those tracks led me here and, I must say, I feel so…inspired after reading. Thanks for that and keep it up!

    Wishing you and your family a happy holidays and a wonderful new year. Duc

    Like

  2. Rachel says:

    What a wonderful poem! I love the idea of “ripening”, reminds me of one of my favorite lines from The Marquis of Lossie by George MacDonald, “Age is not all decay; it is the ripening, the swelling, of the fresh life within, that withers and bursts the husks.”

    Like

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