As I drove home, through a quaint older neighborhood with fully mature trees hovering their branches overhead, the fallen leaves all seemed to scurry across the road in front of me. They were jumping, skipping, and a few even doing a little flip of excitement now and then. Some left, some right, some straight ahead, but mostly in a big group all appearing to be heading the same general direction. It looked like the front of an elementary school at the end of a long day when all the children come running out of the building, yelling with enthusiasm just because they can. It made me smile, and it made me think…
Just days earlier I had expressed my sadness about seeing all the beautiful leaves beginning to fall from the same trees. But what if those leaves have been waiting for this moment since spring? Maybe they’ve been blowing in the wind restricted by the trees hold on them. Are they now free? Free to run on the ground, to play with the leaves from the trees across the street, to explore the neighborhood they have been staring at from above all summer? I don’t know, but how fun to watch them play and imagine their joy, as if they knew something I didn’t.
All these years I’ve assumed that it was sad when it was their time to fall and “die”. I’d never even entertained this other perspective. I wonder why? Was it just what I had been told? I grew up somehow just ‘knowing’ that it was sad when things died; but these leaves didn’t look the least bit sad. They looked as if they were just beginning a new chapter of their lives; it was just going to take on a different form. This wasn’t an “ending” as I had perceived it, this was a new beginning. It wasn’t death after all, it was just change.
I will never look at leaves in a tree or on the ground the same way again. Whether they are just budding, bright green, turning colors, about to be set free or nourishing the earth, I’ll be reminded, this is the cycle of life and each moment is meant to be enjoyed for what it is, not what we think it should be, or what someone told us it was.
Maybe all of life is merely what we perceive it to be at any given moment along the journey… which would imply that, if we are not happy about a situation, we can at least try to look at it from a different perspective. Isn’t it at least worth a try? What if it’s just your beliefs or thoughts about the situation vs. the situation itself?
“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change” –unknown
Enjoy the beautiful leaves!