Being a Leaf
This season the leaves are everywhere. Mostly on the ground, but the beautiful fall foliage is very much part of the New England scene. A time for warm apple cider, pumpkin bisque soup, and butternut squash ravioli ahh ! the delight of the fall harvest season. However much as we appreciate the season and the foods and the sights do you ever stop and examine the nature of leaves that spurns the excitement of the post summer era?
A leaf is born to plants and trees, a young bud at first then gradually with the passage of time gets greener, filled with chlorophyll and fulfills its duties of helping in nourishing the plant, bush or tree through its photosynthetic properties. It provides shelter to birds, and little creatures, and nourishment to bigger creatures when eaten. It weathers the wind, the scorching sun rays, and the torrential rains. If ever torn away from its branch it floats effortlessly and aimlessly in the wind hither and thither, but if secured with strong roots it does not resist the winds or the rains, and lets them blow and wash over, yet mostly remaining as it was. As the seasons progress and as fall approaches it automatically knows when to stop producing chlorophyll and sometimes releasing other chemicals thereby inducing the change in color. When its time is done it falls from its branch by its own volition and rests on the ground where it will wither away and be reclaimed into the ground as compose, into its elements.
Yet we will always remember its life if we observe a plant, bush or tree in our back yard, as it completed its life cycle and provided the brilliant colors to the tree as part of the fall foliage. Just one leaf but with out its job, it could not be with out the collection of leaves that did theirs to provide life, and the colorful splendor of the overall botanical structure. So how does this simple leaf apply to us?
We are all born to parents. We are members of something greater, the human species, the human civilization, the eternal consciousness. We all have a duty and purpose to fulfill. First in a child bud like state we grow and flourish and then as we grow up and become contributing members of society we get educated, we work and play and eventually have a family. Provide sustenance to our young through nourishment, and shelter. There are times when just like rain, heat, and wind beat down on us in the forms of resistant thoughts. If we like the leaf neither give in nor yield nor resist them, we weather the storms of our thoughts, emotions, and restless minds and with strong roots and bonds hold on to our branches. The roots are our education, our true sense of purpose and our values. The branches are our foundations, our belief systems and our faith. If we do not have a good root system then our bonds easily break and we fly away from our branches and like loose leaves succumb to the weather or the storms of the madness of the mind. We must be mindful of these roots and be strong enough to withstand the weather.
As we continue to progress and eventually come towards the end of our careers and lives we should be able to look back on a colorful splendor of accomplishments similar to the fall foliage. These are not necessarily financial or fame seeking endeavors but more a plethora of mental and spiritual milestones that have advanced us and the state of human evolution in the areas of kindness, creativity, beauty, love, abundance and gratitude. We connect to the rest of the universe and nature when we trust our instincts, our inner knowing and push forth these characteristics. Eventually our bodies change, like the leaves and fall to the ground. From ashes to ashes dust to dust, isn’t that how the saying goes. But remember we are more than the sum of our bodies. It is our spirit, our vibrant essence that drives this process.
Everything is exactly as it is meant to be as it is in nature so too are we the same. We follow the same laws of nature of birth, old age, disease and death.Four truths that we as our bodies cannot escape, but our bodies are the ones that are born of this nature, our essence or spirit is not, and it is neither born nor destroyed. So why fear? Why worry? how do we not feel that we are the leaf itself ? Surrender to what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be. By being ever present in the moment and awakening to our true nature and self we can transcend this material nature.
Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change. So enjoy the fall season and realize that another season is coming. It has to. It is what you do in that season that counts. Ready to snowboard ??