He went and said goodbye to the trees in the yard, one by one, embracing them and crying

jose-saramago

It was only many years after, when my grandfather had departed from this world and I was a grown man, I finally came to realise that my grandmother, after all, also believed in dreams. There could have been no other reason why, sitting one evening at the door of her cottage where she now lived alone, staring at the biggest and smallest stars overhead, she said these words: “The world is so beautiful and it is such a pity that I have to die”. She didn’t say she was afraid of dying, but that it was a pity to die, as if her hard life of unrelenting work was, in that almost final moment, receiving the grace of a supreme and last farewell, the consolation of beauty revealed. She was sitting at the door of a house like none other I can imagine in all the world, because in it lived people who could sleep with piglets as if they were their own children, people who were sorry to leave life just because the world was beautiful; and this Jerónimo, my grandfather, swineherd and story-teller, feeling death about to arrive and take him, went and said goodbye to the trees in the yard, one by one, embracing them and crying because he knew he wouldn’t see them again.

~ Jose Saramago, (1922-2010), excerpt from his Nobel Lecture, December 7, 1998


Notes:

Comments

  1. How serendipitous that you would post this today, the anniversary of my dad’s passing. Had he been able, he too would have marveled at the stars, gazing with wonder through his telescope, savor the feel of bark on his fingertips, and wonder at the wonder of it all…

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  2. Oh I would hug my beautiful trees too, leaving this beautiful world. Love this 💚

    Liked by 3 people

  3. That’s it exactly,
    What a pity we have to leave this beauty.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We should start our embrace today. Life is so brief and fragile.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Oh, to be so connected to that which we often ignore. The story is a reminder of how most of us have departed from the deep appreciation for all that surrounds us.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A brilliant reminder of what matters, after all. ❤️ 💛 💙 💜

    Liked by 2 people

  7. “And so it is and always shall be.” Grateful to be reminded.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wow. ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  9. With every passing day, I become more keenly aware of how very easy it is to take things for granted. I was gazing up at the full moon the other night and found myself fighting a lump in my throat at the luminous beauty of a simple summer night. Must. Pay. Attention.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Knowing that leaving is a reality, I try to take as much as possible in every day.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Such moving words … and comments that followed. Thank you for such a life affirming share David 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  12. OMG…so beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Serendipitous indeed…today is the first anniversary of my my beautiful Mother’s passing…she enjoyed the beautiful gifts of nature…twenty minutes before passing a nurse heard my solitary mother talking about her beautiful flowers…the nurse then walked into the room and my mother engaged her…my mother, asked for her flowers to be watered as she didn’t want them to die…// she was born and lived under the shadow a majestic and sacred mountain, a place so breathtaking that one’s eyes never want to avert from gaze…on Sunday’s after church she would drive us up the road along the river easing off the river road and up the heavily wooded, narrow, climbing, winding road to the waterfalls, their spray tickling us and misting the display of wildflowers and then onto the relative’s homestead laying in its expanse like a carpet under the mountain’s outstretched arms…the fertile valley soil, gifting with nurturing bounty and beauty…My mother moved on, married and raised a family…she loved a variety of music spanning the decades…she was an amazing cook and cake baker, she had a beautiful strong, singing voice and she took us to church, where we learned of God and as a single mother, she did her best to provide for us… she sacrificed much, because she loved us, six children…she was interned in her birthplace, under the shade of a tree together, with her mother, father and one of her brothers in a small grove, overseen by the security of the beautiful mountain…one day I will travel to visit her remains, to remember and honor, while I know her soul is peacefully resting and rejoicing, home in Heaven…

    Liked by 2 people

  14. So this made me cry too. I feel the same way.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. The beauty of the world is unmasked when our sense of compensation for what we do is simply the joy in being able to do it, and grateful for the opportunity. Such a circumstance is truly difficult to let go. Love always is.
    -Alan

    Liked by 1 person

  16. The image, to me it looks as if he is in awe and he has a reverent respect and is about to send a loving kiss of goodbye, as he is bound to transcend to the after life…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Interesting you picked up on that Christie. I thought similarly….

    Like

  18. Beth’s blog led me here today. Before my beloved Vietnam veteran friend died in 2008 of complications related to alcoholism and drug addiction and Agent Orange exposure, I remember someone saying, “It is so hard for you to lose him in this way. Imagine how it is for him — to be losing you AND everything else.” I think of that often. I can imagine my old friend saying goodbye to his friends — the ocean, the sky, the redwood trees, the river, the whales, the pelicans, the magpies. Thank you so much for this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. What a powerful reminder of the wonder and glory that surrounds us; so beautiful that Jose could articulate his grandfather’s gift in such a way that many more lives would be touched. Thank-you for posting this!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I can so relate to this lovely post. This world is a miracle, and I can well imagine missing my gardens and wild creatures and the forest and shore as much as anything. Missing the world, knowing I will not witness another sunrise or set, another set of giant waves crashing on a rocky outcropping. I’m not worried about what the next adventure might be, only that I will look foward to that, as well. But I sure will miss this place.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. I was wandering through your past looking for posts about dreams and came across this one. It makes me very sad, because I feel the same way about my life. But it reaffirms the love I have for what I do have. And what I HAVE had. Beautifully written and emoted.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Yes Claudia. You captured from your second sentence to the finish, exactly how I feel…

    Like

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