Saturday, July 7, 2012

Like the Leaves

I walked up from the studio along the small path cut through the trees, trudging up each homemade wooden step and shuffling through the dirt. I opened the quaint gate at the top, made sure there were no feisty chickens nearby who could run through, and came into the side yard. It was hot, and I was a bit worn on my pottery making for the time. I couldn't quite focus anyhow. 

There is a small bench swing that sits beside the gate underneath some quiet trees. The chicken coop was next to it, and a small red storage barn next to that. I sat on the bench and swung my legs back and forth, contemplating something, whatever it was.

I noticed several fallen leaves tucked into the slits of the seat. Most of them were dead, but I spotted one that seemed to be hanging on to its fading color. A solemn orange, brown edges, already warped in its shape. I picked it up; it was so fragile. I looked long and hard at the life that seemed to be dying.

It had so much potential to be beautiful and strong. I could tell in its faded color that it must have been a gorgeous leaf. The heat had killed it, and while some leaves still clung green to their tree limbs, this one didn't make it. It was not yet dead, but even the gentlest touch was dangerous, and to grasp it firmly in your warm and caring hand would make it crumble. It had several holes already where something had either nibbled away at it, bit by bit, or where it could simply no longer sustain life in those places. A faint bit of yellow, I saw. Some black around the edges.

I tried to straighten some of its edges to better admire this leaf that would not quite give up its purpose, but when I did I caused a small crack in its frail body. I decided not to touch it again. I think it may have appreciated that.

And yet, as I could only think of how unfair it seemed that this leaf was torn away from its life source too soon, I thought of how it might bring forth new and flourishing life if it was simply allowed to decompose entirely and thus fertilize the soil. Perhaps that's how it works. It has to die before it can birth something new and beautiful. And then I thought, maybe it's just okay. So I went in and ate lunch.

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