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Autumn in the Adirondacks
Autumn in the Adirondacks

We had the good fortune of coming together for this event during Autumn in the Adirondack Mountains. It is the time of year when the light is getting low and the colors are most vibrant.

In closing, I offer this poem that I have read and reread for many years. It resonated for me when I first came across it twenty years ago, and it does so even more now.

By a Stream
By Czeslaw Milosz (translated from the Polish, by the author and Robert Hass.)

The murmur of clear water on stones

in a gully deep in a tall forest.

Ferns brighten in the sun on the banks,

the stacked, ungraspable shapes of leaves,

lancet-like, sword-like,

heart-like, shovel-like,

notched, serrated,

saw-toothed—who will express it?

And the flowers! Whitish umbels,

deep blue chalices, bright yellow stars,

roselets, clusters.

To sit and to watch

the bustle of bumblebees, the flight of dragonflies,

the takeoff of a flycatcher,

in the tangle of twigs the hurry of the black beetle.

It seems that I hear the voice of a demiurge:

“Either speechless rocks, as on the first day of creation,

or life, whose condition is death,

and this beauty which elates you.”