“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

11.22.2008

A leaf's last journey

The movement into winter is golden turning white.

The last leaves cling to their branches, their trees, their homes, their places of birth. They have swallowed the sunlight all summer and now burst with that radiance - golden, red, tangerine, persimmon & pumpkin. They are the last of their tribe; they have outlasted the storms, fought the wind & rain & the changing seasons. They have fought with every ounce of shimmering breath to stay just one more day, one more hour, one last moment. What do they feel when at last they let go?

Is it freedom or fear?

Do they leave protesting in a madly whirling gust of wind, or do they just let go? Do they have the chance to choose? Is there an exuberance at twirling softly through the autumn air, or blowing high above the treetops into the sky - do they look back & shout a hurried goodbye to friends & family, knowing they are at last alone, knowing they can never return? Do they hear the replies, or does the sound of the wind surround them?


And when they land, what then? Is it sadness they feel? Do they understand that this is all, that this is the end? Or is this just one more step of the journey - this blanketing of the earth with their warmth?

At no time of the year am I more aware of this gift of the leaves,
of this
letting go,
letting go,
letting go.
all fall down

12 comments:

  1. they don't have a choice at all, do the leaves. it's nature's eutanasia - the mother tree cutting them off the water and mineral supply so they have to let go. but their function doesn't end there. even dead, they provide protection and nourishment for another generation the following spring...

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  2. Beautiful words! I was captivated by the images in my head of the leaves swirling in the breeze. So akin to death, in all forms. We all have trouble letting go. And our assumption is that it is that way in nature... I wonder...
    Brenda

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  3. Beautifully put! It is a death I guess, but we can all benefit from looking at it from your perspective. Letting go should be joyful, not fearful....

    Love to you!

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  4. Oh my goodness...so lovely! I believe it's just one more step...and it's so true that we could learn a little lesson from those leaves...

    xo

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  5. i want to drink your photo's...


    beeeeeeeuuuuuuuuteeeeeeeeful!!!

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  6. You are my voice, that's what you are. You are able to say those things that are within me. It's as though you set them free, these thoughts and feelings.
    I had been pondering a very similar thing about these leaves as the last hurruah of these leaves give way to the impending winter.
    So many go as a group. Some fall earlier than the group. Then, there are the reluctant ones. Ones that are able to somehow hold on until winter has more than arrived.
    It is these stubborn, rebellious leaves that I most admire. Who hang on long past the others. I want their tenacity.
    And, my! What beautiful images to go with the words!

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  7. What freedom a tree has, that it can shake off it's coat every year and start anew.
    I wish we had that option as human beings. To just hibernate and start from scratch.
    Beautiful words and photo's.

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  8. Polona - It's true. They really just change form. A Buddhist kind of thing. I was thinking about that as I wrote this.

    Brenda - Oh, that letting go is just so scary. So scary!! I think nature (excluding us) is much easier with it than we are. I hope so! :)

    Christy - Yes. I want to get to that point where it is joyful.

    Celeste - One more step. I like that.

    Hele - Thank you, ma'am. Although maybe I shouldn't be taking credit for the leaves! :)

    Maddie - Drinks are on the house! Thank you! :)

    Paula - You & I do seem to run along the same thought patterns quite a bit, so I'm not surprised to hear this. I prefer, like you, to think of them as stubborn, not fearful.

    Eilandkind - Now here I was, just concentrating on the leaves & I forgot all about how good it must feel for the trees to just shake off the old & prepare for the new!

    :) Debi

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  9. this is absolutely my new favorite post of yours! the words must have just tumbled out from your heart! what breathtaking and lovely imagery!

    goodness me! i just opened my laptop and saw that i had made this comment on your blog but i never hit the submit button. this is the post i was referring to in my e-mail to you about the recent post i love. it is your magic at it's best!
    letting, letting go...all fall down..

    happy thanksgiving!
    xo

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  10. I love this post. If we were to answer for the leaves, each of our answers would be different and would reflect who we are in that moment. Here are my answers:

    They feel free. And very excited to be about to begin their new adventure. Only a tad nervous. When they land, they feel secure and grateful for the soft landing. They don't worry because they know the end is only one more step of the journey. Not really an end at all.

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  11. Hmmm...the leaves have surely let go, but I don't know if I am ready to let go of them! It all went by so fast.
    The top picture of that beautiful leaf...it looks as though there is a tiny feather attached to it. Perhaps this leaf prefers not to fall but to fly.

    xoxo

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