Autumn Leaves

autumn leavesStrolling along the neighborhood streets with my dog or maybe with my daughter for a cake-pop run to Starbucks while taking in the Christmas lights adorning the surrounding houses, I notice the bright autumnal colors.  For some reason, I have come to think of ourselves, or at least how we should be, as the leaves of fall.  Deep within the leaves of the tree, there are vibrant colors that are covered up by the green chlorophyl feeding off of the sun’s warmth and light.  In the fall, as the warmth of summer gives way to sunny crisp days and cold dark nights, the chlorophyl is absorbed into the tree and the nutrients go to the roots to be stored for the winter.  The colder the nights and brighter the days, the more vibrant the colors of the leaves.

Eventually, the fiery red and gold fronds let go of their branches, or perhaps the branches let go of them, and they float peacefully to the ground.  They do not cling to the limbs that bore them, nor does the tree refuse to release them.  It is a cycle of necessity and when it is time to change and let go, it happens naturally.  We, on the other hand, have difficulty knowing when to be transformed and give up the ghost of our current iteration of life.

There are times in our own lives when we must evolve.  Knowing that it is time for change and that, like the leaves, we must let our attachments fall to become seeds that give birth to a life to come.  We are at once like the leaves and the branches.  We clutch desperately to that which, for a season, fed us with life and sustenance.  Being fully aware that there are things we are called to and selves to become, we dig in our talons as if sliding perilously to the edge of a cliff; our grip ever slipping as the raging waters swirl below.  And we are like the branches.  Seeing that the leaves must be allowed to change and reveal their true colors and die to their old selves to give way to the new, we refuse to free them from our clutches.

If the leaf could talk, perhaps it would say thank you to the branch.  Thank you for holding me up and preparing me for this time.  Thank you for helping me become who I am supposed to be and letting me go when it was needed.  And the branch would sing in reply, thank you for sheltering me from the elements.  Thank you for protecting me from the harsh rays of the sun and for absorbing for me their brilliance.  Thank you for changing what could have harmed me into that which gives me life.  Intoning their duet of gratitude and interdependence, their words rise up to the warm light of the sun as another leaf glides solemnly to its rest: I am me, you are you, we are.

One Response to “Autumn Leaves”

  1. John Lovestrand Says:

    Too beautifully written for me to offer adequate comment.

    Beyond mere praise.

    Thank you B!


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